Dual inheritance theory  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Dual inheritance theory (DIT), also known as gene-culture coevolution, was developed in the late 1970s and early 1980s to explain how human behavior is a product of two different and interacting evolutionary processes: genetic evolution and cultural evolution. DIT is a "middle-ground" between much of social science, which views culture as the primary cause of human behavioral variation, and human sociobiology and evolutionary psychology which view culture as an insignificant by-product of genetic selection. In DIT, culture is defined as information in human brains that got there by social learning. Cultural evolution is considered a Darwinian selection process that acts on cultural information. Dual Inheritance Theorists often describe this by analogy to genetic evolution, which is a Darwinian selection process acting on genetic information.

Because genetic evolution is relatively well understood, most of DIT examines cultural evolution and the interactions between cultural evolution and genetic evolution.

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