Human societies display long-form adaptation. Humans adapt behaviorally, and human behavior requires years to acquire and generations to develop. Long-form behavioral adaptations explain our species' extraordinary diversity and its ecological success. At the same time, the cognitive mechanisms and population dynamics that make long-form adaptation possible also make possible evolutionarily novel societies and forms of behavior and technology. Humans have co-existed with these evolutionary novelties for long enough that our genes are adapted to them. The study of long-form adaptation will benefit from long-form research that is both longitudinal and comparative, allowing it to inform theories of human evolution and the dynamics of human societies. Normal human science lacks the necessary infrastructure. The document linked below presents a sketch of a research program. The major goal is to develop a coordinated and longitudinal, but relatively decentralized, field research network. This network takes its empirical direction from current theories of human adaptation. But it is primarily an infrastructure project that would dramatically improve our ability to study the microevolution of human behavior and culture in ecological context.
A Long-form Research Program in Human Behavior, Ecology & Culture