Yes of course. Scientists point out that behavior often drives evolution. For example, we evolved to walk upright not because somehow our body knew that we will walk upright in the future, but because our ancestor had to walk upright on 2 legs even though their anatomy is that of a 4 legged ape.
By walking on 2 legs by choice, any mutation that happens in later generations to make our ancestors better bipeds will become adaptive and will be retained. If our ancestors never walked on 2 legs full time, those same mutations would have been deleterous and be eliminated. Even if the decision to walk on 2 legs was originally made by a single individual, that choice can eventually cause an evolutionary change if it is advantageous to do so. That individual may have had a better chance for survival (e.g. seeing danger sooner and being able to carry a stick to defend itself against predators) and leave more descendants. Not all of his descendants may choose to walk on 2 legs, but those that do will also have a better chance of survival. So, after many generations, most of the living individuals would be walking on 2 legs and they will also have the new genes that make 2 legged walking easier.
Conversely, individual behavior will also be eliminated by natural selection if it leads to a bad outcome. For example, by choosing to ignore traffic and crossing the stret without looking, one's genes may be eliminated quickly. Taking unnecessary risks is usually not adaptive. That is why we see wariness among animals living in the wild. Most wild animals are cautious, instead of being reckless, because recklessness is maladaptive.
· 4 weeks ago