The relationship between kin and group selection is a contested issue in evolutionary
theory, and matters are not helped by a tendency to conflate questions of methodology
with questions of causality. Drawing inspiration from W. D. Hamilton, Birch suggests
we think about the distinction between kin and group selection in terms of differences
of degree in the structural features of populations. Birch further argues that we
can usefully draw a parallel distinction in the case of cultural evolution. Cultural
group selection, which involves competition between stable, well-defined “tribes",
has received a great deal of attention in recent years. Cultural kin selection, which
relies on kinship relations in more loosely structured social networks, has been largely
neglected. Birch argues that cultural kin selection deserves more attention than it
has so far received. In particular, it may help explain how the “tribal” social structure
presupposed by models of cultural group selection originally came to exist.
People in SocSci
Faculty & Lecturers
- Outreach & Diversity
- Global Connect
- Ambassador's Council
- Diversity, Inclusion & Racial Healing High School Ambassador Program
- Deconstructing Diversity Initiative
- Olive Tree Initiative
Alumni & Community Organizations
Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Resources
- Join us!
We’re seeking your support as we push the limits in neuroscience, population science and emerging conflict research, because solutions to some of society’s greatest challenges lie in our ability to break the mold, to be boundaryless. Learn how you can support and join us in our pursuit.
- Join us!
- News & Events
Be in the know