Read The Imitation Factor: Evolution Beyond the Gene by Lee Alan Dugatkin Free Online
Book Title: The Imitation Factor: Evolution Beyond the Gene|
Date of issue: January 8th 2001
ISBN 13: 9780684864532
The author of the book: Lee Alan Dugatkin
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 430 KB
Edition: Free Press
Read full description of the books The Imitation Factor: Evolution Beyond the Gene:Is imitation really the best compliment? As Lee Alan Dugatkin's powerful work of cutting-edge science reveals, imitation is the most profound compliment you can give anyone. It might last for millions of years. An acclaimed biologist, Dugatkin has identified and mapped the effects of a powerful, overlooked, and deceptively simple factor in evolutionary history. He shows how the imitation of one individual by another, in any species, is an essential and fundamental natural force that has enabled the growth of animal and human societies. Previously inexplicable animal behaviors become comprehensible in the light of Dugatkin's research: How can one group of monkeys all learn to use a new tool in one generation? There is no time for genetic evolution to achieve this, but the social system enabled by imitation manages it easily. Dugatkin also investigates the way we, and other species, select mates. Why do tiny sailfin molly fish have sex with another species? The somewhat disturbing truth is, simply, to impress the ladies. There can be no purely genetic, standard Darwinian explanation for it. Such fishy sex isn't all in the genes. Humans and animals alike do things because they see others doing them; in this way fashions, traditions, and customs eventually emerge. Indeed, Dugatkin's astonishing point is that the imitation factor has led to the development in animals of education and culture. This fact has changed the course of evolutionary history.
Dugatkin draws on a wide range of his own and others' research into the behavior of fish, birds, whales, and humans to reveal the failure of genetic determination to explain mating behavior and the fundamental process of learning. Aswe watch people become popular and find ourselves attracted to them, we are doing nothing more than what animals have been doing for eons. Dugatkin follows the course of imitation as it leads to teaching and reveals that the mechanics of "animal education" built the species-wide phenomenon known in our own society as civilization. An original, brilliant, and lucid presentation of a profound new idea in evolutionary science, "The Imitation Factor" will have an enduring impact on the way we understand life on earth, and ourselves.
Read information about the authorBorn in 1962 Lee Alan Dugatkin is a professor and distinguished university scholar in the department of biology at the University of Louisville. His main area of research interest is the evolution of social behavior.
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