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  Subjects -> SCIENCES: COMPREHENSIVE WORKS (Total: 374 journals)
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Mètode Science Studies Journal : Annual Review
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.117
Number of Followers: 0  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 2174-3487 - ISSN (Online) 2174-9221
Published by Universitat de Valencia Homepage  [33 journals]
  • Social evolution: A biological history of cooperation

    • Authors: Pau Carazo
      Abstract: To talk about life is to talk about cooperation. Its evolutionary origin, different levels of organisation, and current complexity are the result of cooperation between different biological entities. This is also the case with animal societies, including the most complex of them all, the human society. Our language and extraordinary culture, our cities and vast social networks, are the fruit of cooperation. In a world dominated by Darwinian competition, how has cooperation come to play such an important role' Social evolution, the study of the biological bases of cooperation, tackles this question. From the origin of the first cell and to the explosion of social life in animals, social evolution explains how and why cooperation has guided life on our planet.
      PubDate: 2022-06-14
      DOI: 10.7203/metode.13.22348
  • Mobility and sedentariness: The convergence of two divergent
           archaeological concepts

    • Authors: Anna Bach Gómez
      Abstract: Human communities have settled very diverse geographical and climatic environments on a more or less permanent basis. Much of the archaeological evidence left by humans shows the strategies they adopted in terms of mobility, the structure of exchange networks, and the evidence of their inhabiting an environment that they quickly learned to manage and appropriate. This article provides an overall assessment of the archaeological reality and analytical potential of this record. It is based on cases of recent prehistory and evidence of mobility and nomadism, both from a global perspective and by using specific examples from the Near East.
      PubDate: 2022-06-14
      DOI: 10.7203/metode.13.22791
  • The origins of normativity: Assessor teaching and the emergence of norms

    • Authors: Laureano Castro, Miguel A. Toro
      Abstract: Norms govern many aspects of human behaviour and facilitate coordination in cooperative activities. Regarding the origin of normativity, the most widely accepted hypothesis holds that it was shaped by processes of cultural selection between human groups with different rules on how to organise social life. However, in our opinion, we still lack an evolutionary explanation that would allow us to trace the origins of this incipient normativity in early humans. In this text we suggest that normativity appeared early in the development of our hominin ancestors as a consequence of the development of elementary teaching skills, understood not only as the ability to show others how to do something, but also as the ability to point out what one may and may not do.
      PubDate: 2022-06-14
      DOI: 10.7203/metode.13.21755
  • An evolutionary success story: The ascent of the urban ape

    • Authors: Greg Woolf
      Abstract: Urbanistic projects have dominated the last six thousand years of our species’ history, appearing independently on all the inhabited continents. The majority of the population already live in cities and the trend seems to be increasing. An evolutionary approach entails explaining first what factors first made urban experiments possible in the late Holocene, and then what selective pressures made urban forms of social organization more successful than their alternatives. A range of factors, some environmental and some emerging from the characteristic of the human animal, explain the possibility of urbanism. Among reasons for the comparative advantage displayed by cities, it is argued that state formation and urbanization have tended to form synergistic relationships, the success of each facilitating the success of the other.
      PubDate: 2022-06-14
      DOI: 10.7203/metode.13.21713
  • Sitopia: How food shapes civilisation

    • Authors: Carolyn Steel
      Abstract: The question of how to eat has always been central to human life. Our evolution has mirrored a series of technical innovations such as the control of fire, farming, and railways that have transformed, not just how we eat, but how we live. Our ancestors understood the value of food, but modern urban life has obscured the true costs of how we eat. By externalising the cost of industrial farming, we have damaged planetary ecosystems and thus threatened our future on earth. By recognising and restoring food’s true value, however, we can rebalance our lives with nature and create more resilient, equitable societies for the future.
      PubDate: 2022-06-14
      DOI: 10.7203/metode.13.21771
  • Rashevsky’s dream: A physico-mathematical foundation of history and

    • Authors: Salva Duran-Nebreda, Sergi Valverde
      Abstract: The popular science fiction series Foundation penned by Isaac Asimov explores the idea that the course of the future of societies is not only predictable but can be engineered as well. In Asimov’s fictional world, a multidisciplinary science called psychohistory combines mathematics, psychology, and history to predict future events. Nicolas Rashevsky, the father of mathematical biology, lent credibility to the existence of universal principles underpinning human cultural evolution using mathematical models. His vision remains to be fully realized, as our capacity to predict and even engineer is very fragmented. Two main obstacles are a misunderstanding of the role of mathematical models and the limitations of current datasets. Recent advances in complex systems research, computer-based simulations, and large-scale databases, are paving the way towards fully developing a mathematical theory of human history.
      PubDate: 2022-06-14
      DOI: 10.7203/metode.13.21763
  • Introduction: Drylands. Opportunities, challenges, and threats

    • Authors: Jaime Martinez-Valderrama, Emilio Guirado, Fernando T. Maestre
      Abstract: Hyper-arid, arid, semi-arid and dry-sub-humid climate zones (all of them considered drylands) occupy over 40 % of the Earth’s land surface and are home to more than 2 billion people. Contrary to the popular image of this important set of biomes, drylands are home to 36 % of carbon stores, 30 % of forested areas, 50 % of the world’s livestock, and 44 % of croplands. These figures give an idea of their social, economic, and ecological importance – the focus of the monograph’s first article – and argue for the need to know and understand their functioning and manage human activities in an increasingly changing climate scenario. This is key to enabling their development and preventing their desertification.
      PubDate: 2022-04-06
      DOI: 10.7203/metode.13.24248
  • Life adapted to uncertainty: Drylands ecology

    • Authors: Jaime Martinez-Valderrama, Emilio Guirado, Fernando T. Maestre
      Abstract: Drylands occupy approximately 40 % of the Earth's surface. Their peculiar hydrological regime, with water as the main limiting factor, together with other characteristics, such as the variability of rainfall and their ecological heterogeneity, turn these regions into one of the main and most relevant sets of biomes on the planet. Beyond their stereotypical conception as places with a low economic and ecological profile, these territories have enormous biodiversity and support 40 % of the world's population. Global warming is increasing atmospheric aridity and the strategies developed over millennia by their inhabitants are a model to learn from. Preserving these places is essential to combat climate change, and to do so, it is essential to have an in-depth understanding of their structure and functioning.
      PubDate: 2022-04-01
      DOI: 10.7203/metode.13.22006
  • Science and policy against desertification: The institutional response to
           a global challenge

    • Authors: Víctor M. Castillo Sánchez
      Abstract: Desertification is a controversial concept whose nature, extent, causes, and potential solutions are still debated. This paper reviews the arguments put forward to consider desertification a global environmental challenge and analyses the institutional response within the United Nations framework, in particular that of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). The most significant elements of the desertification debate are analysed with respect to their scientific and political dimensions. The text concludes discussing the need to establish an integrated framework for desertification assessment and response validated by a science-policy interface.
      PubDate: 2022-04-01
      DOI: 10.7203/metode.13.21901
  • Intensification of livestock farming in times of climate change: The

    • Authors: Laura Yahdjian, Lucas J. Carboni, Sergio Velasco Ayuso, Gaston R. Oñatibia
      Abstract: Livestock grazing modifies and even degrades dryland ecosystems, which threatens the sustainability of livestock farming itself. It is essential to learn more about the effects of grazing on vegetation and soil in order to design strategies to avoid desertification, perhaps the most serious problem faced by dryland ecosystems. In this paper, we evaluate the changes in the functional traits of the plant community and the biological soil crust induced by the intensification of grazing in Patagonian ecosystems. This description, together with changes in diversity, composition, and ecosystem performance, can help us to understand the mechanisms by which the intensification of sheep grazing could degrade dryland ecosystems.
      PubDate: 2022-04-01
      DOI: 10.7203/metode.13.21553
  • Latin American drylands: Challenges and opportunities for sustainable

    • Authors: Anahi Ocampo, América Lutz-Ley, Adriana Zuñiga, Claudia Cerda, Silvana Goirán
      Abstract: The drylands of Latin America sustain their countries’ economies. However, governance and economic models focused on exports and the short term have resulted in environmental injustice, unsustainable development, and the promotion of desertification. Addressing development challenges in water-limited ecosystems requires a thorough understanding of their complex socio-environmental interactions. In this document, we examine two of the most important economic activities in Latin American drylands: agriculture and mining. We use representative cases from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, and Mexico to illustrate the complexity of socio-environmental interactions in which climate change affects the availability of water resources and results in power struggles. We also discuss how the approach to ecosystem services and transdisciplinary research can result in development models that benefit and protect ancestral communities and the ecosystems that make these territories unique.
      PubDate: 2022-04-01
      DOI: 10.7203/metode.13.21458
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