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Evolutionary Theory in the Anthropological Sciences

This is another case where the description in the Bulletin is inaccurate. This is a graduate-level theory class that I am teaching in the Winter of 2008. I have made a special focus of the class in three areas: (1) models for the evolution of quantitative traits, (2) multi-level evolution and the Price Equation, (3) the intellectual legacy of sociobiology and evolutionary psychology. I have posted a blog entry about some of the unusual readings for the course.

We discuss the Price Equation on several occasions in this course, and to help students understand its derivation and use, I have begun to write some notes. Steve Frank's excellent book, Foundations of Social Evolution, provides a very thorough coverage of the application of the Price Equation, but is very terse in its derivation of the equation itself. I try to be a little more pedantic in stepping through the steps for deriving this remarkable equation. These notes are a work in progress and will probably be expanded in the near future. I also have some rudimentary notes on evolutionary game theory. These too will be expanded substantially the next time I teach this class.