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      Civilisation and Human Niche Construction

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          Abstract

          This short paper introduces the special section of three articles under the general heading of ‘Civilisation and the Construction of the Human Niche’, organised by the ‘Domestication, Niche Construction and the Anthropocene’ research network at the UCL Institute of Archaeology.

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          Does evolutionary theory need a rethink?

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            Niche construction, biological evolution, and cultural change.

            We propose a conceptual model that maps the causal pathways relating biological evolution to cultural change. It builds on conventional evolutionary theory by placing emphasis on the capacity of organisms to modify sources of natural selection in their environment (niche construction) and by broadening the evolutionary dynamic to incorporate ontogenetic and cultural processes. In this model, phenotypes have a much more active role in evolution than generally conceived. This sheds light on hominid evolution, on the evolution of culture, and on altruism and cooperation. Culture amplifies the capacity of human beings to modify sources of natural selection in their environments to the point where that capacity raises some new questions about the processes of human adaptation.
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              Niche construction and the behavioral context of plant and animal domestication

               Bruce Smith (2007)
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                2048-4194
                Archaeology International
                Ubiquity Press
                2048-4194
                14 December 2017
                2017
                : 20
                : 106-109
                Affiliations
                [1 ]UCL Institute of Archaeology, UK
                Article
                10.5334/ai-368
                Copyright: © 2017 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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                Research article

                Archaeology, Cultural studies

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