The Role of Behaviour in the Recurrence of Biological Processes
Biological Journal of the Linnean Society
Linnean Society of London
This paper examines the evolution of behaviour within a general perspective that sees evolution as the recurrence of processes, facilitated by a variety of behavioural and material inputs into development throughout the life cycle. The paper explores the ways in which behaviour is integrated into the reproduction of these developmental processes. One important conclusion of the analysis is that there is no reason to suppose that the rate of evolutionary change is limited, as evolutionary psychologists, in particular, have supposed, by the mechanisms for genetic transmission. This analysis also contributes to a broader picture which recognizes that biological entities are typically the sites of intersection of multiple processes, often on very different time scales. This is, indeed, a central reason why (more or less stabilized) processes must be treated as more fundamental than stable things in biology. The paper concludes with some reflections on how best to understand the flexibility of human nature.