Environment of Evolutionary Adaptation an Alternative to Standard Evolutional Psychology Models

Environment of Evolutionary Adaptation an Alternative to Standard Evolutional Psychology Models

In her criticism of the Standard Evolutional Psychology Modules SEPMs as an explanation to the evolution of human behavioral capacities over time, Gibson argues that SEPMs ignore well-established genetic and developmental principles of pleiotropy which indicates that human genes have multiple phenotypic effects and epigenesist that posit phenotypic traits reflect genetic and environmental interactions during development.

In support of her Environment of Evolutionary Adaptation (EEA) as an alternative to SEPMs, Gibson highlights the following key points;

  • The amount of time that has elapsed since the invention of agriculture for natural selection to have changed human behavioral adaptation
  • Humans in populations have adapted differently with some taking milk, for instance, and others becoming resistant to malaria
  • There has never been one single hunter-gatherer environment meaning that people have been adapting individually to different environments challenges at the same time.
  • Comparative behavioral evidence and paleontological data point out that the versatility evidenced in human behavior patterns has a long evolutionary history.
  • Paleontological evidence points out that homids which lived 2.5 million years ago responded to environmental conditions by expanding their diets to include foods not eaten they their ancestors who existed before them.
  • In summary, Gibson points out that there is adequate evidence that indicates behavioral flexibility and creativity developed as a response to different environmental challenges.

By saying brains are epigenist organs in the anatomical sense, Gibson meant that just like other body organs, the brain undergoes growth and development implying that individuals born of the same parents but raised in different locations are likely to develop different behavioral adaptation without necessarily requiring the brain to undergo evolution.  This view is supported by the fact that during early stages of development mammalian brains overproduces neurons, axons, and synapses and neuronal connections that are not found n=in adult brains (P31).



Work Cited

Gibson, Kathleen R. “Epigenesis, brain plasticity, and behavioral versatility: Alternatives to

standard evolutionary psychology models.” Complexities: Beyond nature and nurture (2005): 23-42.