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Testing Evolutionary Hypotheses With Demographic Data

Publication Abstract

Clarke, A.L., and Bobbi Low. 2001. "Testing Evolutionary Hypotheses With Demographic Data." Population and Development Review, 27(4): 633-660.

An ecological evolutionary viewpoint offers new perspectives on contemporary demographic problems in general and on population-environment issues in particular. In turn, rich and detailed human demographic data can help solve problems of interest in evolutionary theory. Such data have been analyzed in greatest detail in studies of traditional and historical societies. Evolutionary approaches using historical data go beyond small-sample anthropological studies to the application of the evolutionary approach to large datasets, and illuminate important similarities between small-scale traditional societies and large modern populations living in evolutionarily novel environments. This article provides a concise update of the breadth of questions and hypotheses of likely interest to demographers and others that evolutionary theorists address using a variety of traditional and historical datasets. It suggests opportunities for additional collaborative work between evolutionary theorists and historical demographers and highlights topics relevant to modern demography.

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