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date: 09 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The genealogical data of family reconstitution studies is of interest to research inspired by Darwinian theory primarily for two reasons. First, they contain personal data and not highly aggregated statistics, such as are typically analysed in demography. Therefore, the individual- and family-oriented structure of the records permits analysis of the variation within populations. Second, family reconstitution studies achieve a temporal depth with overlapping generations that cannot usually be attained in anthropological demography studies of recent populations, most of which lack reliable historical records. The analysis of differential reproduction is, thus, the most important tool in heuristics available to the adaptationist programme of evolutionary anthropology and evolutionary psychology. This article explores these issues in more depth and raise the question of the growth of knowledge that family reconstitution studies have contributed to research on the evolved human psyche.

Keywords: family reconstitution, Darwinian theory, populations, differential reproduction, heuristics, evolutionary anthropology, evolutionary psychology

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