We know that there is one or more types of mechanism that is not genomic, since humanity developed languages and different forms of writing without major variants in the genome. Immigrants and their children show that languages and writing methods can be changed without changes in the genome. Some people change careers by learning new skills.
Tentatively I propose five distinct mechanisms:
The research project will focus on the first three sets of distinct mechanisms that apply to pre-human species and early humans. We build theories and simulation models to show how skills might evolve with these three mechanisms. In terms of human maturation, this takes us to the beginning of learning to read and write, so only up to the age of six or so.
I hypothesize that any given skill or function belongs to a single mechanism. For instance, the basic ability to imitate anothers action sequence based on direct and simultaneous visual observation, i.e. mimicry, must be an innate skill. Similarly, the function of learning from from that mimicry, i.e. converting the mimicked action into a skill, must be innate.
I conjecture that all types of mechanisms are simultaneously active in the species to which they pertain.