The explosion of scientific results about epigenetic and other parental effects appears bewilderingly diverse. An important distinction helps to bring order to the data. Firstly, parents can detect adaptively-relevant information and transmit it to their offspring who rely on it to set a plastic phenotype adaptively. Secondly, adaptively-relevant information may be generated by a process of selection on a reliably transmitted parental effect. The distinction is particularly valuable in revealing two quite different ways in which human cultural transmission may operate.
|Title of host publication||Cooperation and Its Evolution|
|Editors||Kim Sterelny, Richard Joyce, Brett Calcott, Ben Fraser|
|Place of Publication||Cambridge, Mass.|
|Number of pages||24|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|
|Name||Life and mind: philosophical issues in biology and psychology|