Lesley Newson.jpg

LESLEY NEWSON

Author and semi-academic (lgnewson@udavis.edu)

I believe that, to understand ourselves better, we need a better understanding of how humans evolved and to learn about the past that our ancestors shared.  From this we can gain ideas about what humans are capable and the futures that we might be able to weave together.


Many people believe that something called "human nature" places limits on our behaviour. This rather pessimistic view of human evolution sees natural selection - the competition to survive and reproduce - as the creator of patterns of behaviour that are somehow coded in our genes.


I reject this gloomy view. A more complete review of the evidence suggests that human evolution required that our ancestors cooperate and behave flexibly enough to work toward a shared purpose.

Much of this evidence is summarized in the book, A Story of Us, which I wrote with my husband, Peter Richerson.  I plan to use this website to say more about these ideas and evidence.

 
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