Humanity Between Biology and Culture Workshop
Niche construction is one of the most exciting theories to have emerged from evolutionary science in the last two decades: it is revolutionising the way we think about adaptation.
It is based on the simple but powerful idea that not only does the environment cause changes in organisms through natural selection, but that organisms also cause changes to the environment by manipulating their material worlds in ways that can have major (and sometimes unintended) consequences for their survival and reproduction. The importance of niche construction is nowhere more in evidence than in humans, where it has had profound effects on our genes, cultures and eco-systems. In addition, niche construction plays an important role in many current global issues, including the ecological consequences of pollution activity, the political and economic ramifications of network formation across the internet, and the evolution of infectious disease in response to farming and medical practices.
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