The so-called “Baldwin Effect” has been studied for years in the fields of Artificial Life, Cognitive Science, and Evolutionary Theory across disciplines. This idea is often conflated with genetic assimilation, and has raised controversy in trans-disciplinary scientific discourse due to the many interpretations it has. This paper revisits the “Baldwin Effect” in Baldwin’s original spirit from a joint historical, theoretical and experimental approach. Social Heredity – the inheritance of cultural knowledge via non-genetic means in Baldwin’s term – is also taken into account. I shall argue that the Baldwin Effect can occur via social heredity without necessity for genetic assimilation, instead the Baldwin Effect can promote more plasticity to facilitate future intelligence when the fidelity of social heredity is high. Computational experiments are then carried out to support the hypothesis of interest. The role of mind and intelligence in evolution and its implications in an extended synthesis of evolution are briefly discussed.

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