Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Example of binary thought ripped from the back pages of academic journals

In an article on evolution, we find this riff about 'cultural evolution, ' which seeks to in fact suggest the genetic component of our species has stopped evolving, and man's cultural world counts as evolution. Demonstrating, by his words, the fact man's culture is imagination, and in the imaginary realm is exactly where we might find, this unwritten, Origin of Species. For there is only biology when we deal with man. Man's culture changes because it is imaginary. Only binary thought would put this knife between biology and culture. 
One reason this argument passes as logical is that man cannot actually deal with the continuing evolution of his brain. A topic to which we will certainly return.

quoting from wired.com

Cultural Evolution

....People, including this science journalist, tend to emphasize biology when thinking about human evolution, but that focus contains an element of looking-for--my-keys-under-the-streetlight reasoning. Genetic evolution can be rigorously measured and quantified. Cultural evolution is messy and difficult to study in journal-appropriate ways, yet in many ways culture -- our social practices and institutions, including the all-important vehicle of language -- is more powerful than biology.

After all, if we could travel back in time a few hundred thousand years, Homo sapiens would be quite recognizable. It's culture that truly distinguishes us.

In the last decade, researchers have developed tools for studying cultural evolution, from patterns of linguistic change to folktale relatedness (above) to interpretations of Polynesian canoe design. As with biological evolution, cultural evolution is clearly continuing: The advent of digital communications technologies, for example, makes new types of cultures possible.

For now, though, an Origin of Species for cultural evolution hasn't yet been written.

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