Tagged cultural evolution

Darwinian News, Hot Off the Press

In the Darwin bicentennial, new insights into fossils, genes, birdsong, and cancer.

google-logo-fossil1The latest issue of Nature to land in my mailbox-the May 28th one-was not a tribute to Darwin in honor of his 200th birthday and the 150th of The Origin of Species; Nature has been there, done that. But it might as well have been another celebration for him, Read more

Future Evolution

Can we say anything about human beings to come? In a word, yes.

Recently after lecturing about human evolution, I had a student come up to me and ask—she apologized first, as some do, despite my mantra that there are no bad questions—if I had any thoughts about future evolution. I did, although I hesitated to offer them; the political correctness monitors are everywhere in universities today. But, casting caution to the winds,
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The Long View

Prejudices change slowly, but they change.

Anthropologists take the long view. Fads come and go–hula hoops, Heavy Metal–but where it counts, culture change–cultural evolution, really–is slow.

Take racial equality for instance. I am always amazed by people who say that affirmative action has gone on long enough.
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Genes, Memes, and the Mess of Cultural Evolution

Next to the Genome, Culture is a Mess, and Its Evolution a Much Harder Puzzle

Okay, so what are memes? This is a term invented 30 years ago by Richard Dawkins, to try to find an equivalent for genes in cultural evolution. The term is now in general usage among those who study cultural evolution, and it has a certain usefulness.

However, it’s a mess compared to the concept of gene. A gene is Read more