chunks of my career to explaining two examples: diachronic change in language, and historical declines of violence. . The striking thing about the real Zuckerberg, in video and in print, is the relative banality of his ideas concerning the Why of Facebook. When a culture includes complex technology, such as the ocean going canoes of Polynesians, or complex social institutions, such as the Polynesian ranked lineage system, most members of the population follow cultural "recipes" acquired from their elders. Instead, they are traits that are propagated culturally, such as religious beliefs, social norms, and forms of political organization. This is no more group selection than the differential reproduction of the flora in our guts is group selection. Richerson, Culture and the Evolutionary Process 1985, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. While such analysis will ultimately explicate all aspects of mental experience, it can, of course, never replace the experience itself. (1891) Natural Selection and Tropical Nature : Essays on descriptive and theoretical biology (Macmillan, London,. The barely suppressed smirk.
Theoretical Population Biology, 69, 339-348. 2 Homo sapiens evolved neural adaptations to explore its physical environment, develop cognitive models of its causal structure, play out these models to invent tools and techniques which defeat the defenses of plants and animals, trade this knowledge with other humans, and cooperate with them. If the copying errors were not random (that is, if Lamarck had been correct that changes in an organism arise in response to a felt need, or if creationists were right that a superior intelligence directed mutations to be beneficial to the organism then natural. Oh, I forgot to make the presentations: this is John.
The average MIT graduate wants to work at Google or Microsoft, because it's a recognized brand, it's safe, and they'll get paid a good salary right away. These are things computers cannot currently. I am not convinced, however, that this debate encompasses the most useful range of alternatives. It was the Roman Empire that took over most of the ancient world, not a group that splintered off from a group that splintered off from a group that splintered off from the Roman Empire, each baby Roman Empire very much like the parent Roman. Pinker takes the view that natural selection isn't natural selection unless mutations are random (or, as he clarifies, blind to their effects 1 ). Group selection theories are now more sophisticated, but are they more predictive? This conversation (41,000 words now closed on Edge, will hopefully continue to reverberate in other venueswebsites, print publications, academic conferences, public policy forums, and, most importantly, classroom. As evidence they may recite a litany of genetic and environmental factors: We are determined by our blond hair, our ghettos, private schools, broken homes, satanic rock-music, Bibles, Camel advertisements, sex symbols, The American Dream, Hershey Bars, adolescence, falling in love, and the roll. Group selected traits may have either a cultural and/or genetic basis. The approaches are equivalent, so it is a matter of taste or expediency which approach to apply to a particular problem.
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