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Is Human Behavioral Ecology a Synonym for Sociobiology?

Is human behavioral ecology a synonym for social biology? Sociobiologists take issue with Gould’s claim that genetic variation is the main cause of human behavior. They believe that genetic variation is the result of a process involving the environment and the emergence of species. Some sociobiologists disagree, and critics of the concept take issue with Wilson’s description of genes as the main cause of human behavior. However, Wilson’s view is more complex and he claims that environmental variation is an integral part of any trait.

Both fields study the evolution of behavior. Sociobiology studies how human behavior evolves from ancestors and how it can be influenced by environmental factors. The field of sociobiology can be broadly divided into three categories: narrow sociobiology focuses on the function of specific behavior in non-human animals, broad sociobiology focuses on the biological basis of general social behavior, and pop sociobiology examines the evolution of human social behavior.

A major problem with human behavioral ecology is the lack of scientific evidence for how behavior evolved. While it is possible to observe ancestry and culture through behavior, this theory is far from conclusive. The evolution of behavior, in general, reflects changes in the environment and the influence of teachers and peers. Sociobiologists are now more concerned with the evolution of human behavior rather than the evolution of man, which is often considered to be incompatible with a social-biological understanding.

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