Two who?

5       Cultural evolution – How we relate to one another

 

Outline | Labor | Instinct | Summary

 

                                    it fairly reeks of theory of mind

Vocabulary

 

Soft inheritance or acquired traits, learning, ethos, social behavior, fear group dynamics, kin & kinship, fight or flight vs. stay & play, socialization,  sanity & pathology, taboo, adaptive vs. maladaptive actions, reciprocity, retribution, conditioning, transference, neurosis, cooperation vs. coercion.

 

Outline

.         The Evolution of Culture { 69

.          Early human culture { 72 Human family tree

1.    2.5 million years of stone tools (Figure 4.1) { 73

2.    250,000 years ago

a.    the Acheulian  progressed to Mesolithic

b.    from flake to sophisticated tools

.               The Great leap forward  { 74 J. Diamond’s phrase for “revolution”

.          The roots of warfare { 99

.               Culture since farming { 105

.              Family Definition and Structure {108

.        From Family to States {110

.              Norms & Mechanisms of Cultural Evolution {115

 

The labor theory of value

John Locke & Karl Marx.

 

Natural resources   X   Human resources        =      technology

   Land            times        Labor        equals     capital

 

 

See land. labor, & wealth as creators of value.

 

 

Instinct

            fight or flight vs. stay & play

            norepinephrine [1]

The Great leap forward  { 74

 

Darwin on instinct

 

Summary

 

“Understanding cultural evolution (and how our brains evolved to make it possible) is both fascinating and critical to an understanding of how homo sapiens (from a common ancestor with Homo erectus) achieved global dominance.”                                                                                                     p. 97


a theory of mind

 

imagination

            Steven Mithln

                        1.        capacity to picture the outcome of future actions {animal

                        2.        fantasm – capacity to ignore & reject reality{ human

                        3.        leap of imagination,”  Lyell, Bohr, Einstein, etc. { genii

p. 98

 

natural selection could be the  mechanism responsible for the diversity of life” required such an “imaginative leap.”

98

theory of mind”

aware of the thoughts and intentions of others.”

98

aggressive behavior”      “warfare”

98

development of “goal directedness”

Steps in achieving an end:             planning

                                                 discussion

                                                 cooperation

                                                 coercion

99

The roots of warfare { 99

human “passive aggression.”

         “Requires a lot of imagination”

         intra-group directed aggression humans share with other animals. chimps

Gombe males and chimpanzee troops

         1971-1977

         the Kaskala males had wiped out the Kahama coomunity.”

         Goodall thinks that they probably were deliberately homicidal,”

                  living in an area of recently and dramatically restricted habitat.”

100

“Frequent intra-community violence among people . . . or warfare . . . is nearly ubiquitous among human societies.”

101

defend well-marked territorial areas and kills of prey animals.”

101

why don’t elephants and dolphins reveal such behavior?

101

models to inform us about the likelihood that we have violent ‘natures.?”

 

much less common among bonobos than among chimpanzees,”

 

females initiating cross-community grooming and even copulation.”

101

“Infanticide is unreported in bonobos, but it does occur in chimps.”

101

work among other primates suggests  the environmental flexibility of aggressive behavior.”

102

baboons were studied

The males change behavior when aggressive males are not present.

102


resource shortages and population pressures were involved in the generation of conflict.”

102

stages of violence have been proposed in studies of 132 cultures

102-103

         homo erectus 1 million years ago – spears

         cooperative hunting could reduce such intra-group violence

         agricultural revolution – permitted military specialization

103

         consideration of entire groups as enemies”

societies have gone to war more often as they became more structured into classes, maintained cadres of professional soldiers, and developed more complex technologies.”

103

 

There is no evidence of genetic determined violent character traits since friendship is also manifest across populations.

103-104

There is a paradox here­–war is undesirable from the viewpoint of most sane people, yet warfare persists. “

Not instinctual or behaviorally predetermined

“Cultural evolution is too complex for that.”

105

 

The rapid change wrought by the agricultural revolution, which led to vastly greater stores of non-genetic information and transformed the social organizations . . .”

105

“12,000 to 7,000 years ago

in eight remote and detached places around the world

1.    New Guinea

2.    China

3.    Persia (Iran) Caucasus

4.    Central & South America,

          5.    North America

6.    Africa

7.    Northern India

8.    Southeast Asia

 

Jericho, 11,400 years ago

 

         began intervening to shape nature”

 

“That agricultural revolution . . . represents much more than a new stage in human intergroup violence. It launched our species into an entirely new arena of cultural evolution, one that did away forever with the long-term human situation of everyone being the possessor of almost all the non-genetic information of his or her society.”

105-106

a coherent picture of genetic evolution”

        

         culture is equated with non-genetic evolution

106

There is no unified “theory of culture” to match “natural selection’s predictive power

106

non-genetic information is responsible for human’s

profound power to affect all life on Earth.”

106

 

“Human culture has been evolving for some 6 to 7 million years

107

gradually began to master the manufacture of tools.”

107

 

twenty to fifty is the “optimal number” of people in an effective human group

relationship between the size of the brain’s perceiving thinking structure (the neo-cortex) and the factor that bind primate societies together.”

107

kinship     “often using chemical clues”

Humans rely primarily on sight and odor clues

107

kin selection is one possible explanations for the evolution of some kinds of altruistic behavior in people:’

107

Family Definition and Structure {108

social learning”     is “learning by observing others.”

108

cooperating more with one another in their productive and reproductive lives than they do with other individuals.”

108

“Na people of China’s matrilines                 matrilineal descent lines

the necessity of intercourse to produce children is recognized but, the genetic contribution of the male is not.”

108-109

women frequently have dozens of lovers.”

109

Segmentation

Clans emerge as the initial separating mechanism in developing gatherer/hunter societies

109

From Family to States {110

surpluses built-up by agricultural production led to further segmentation

or reinforced segmentation already / underway

110

The post-agricultural evolution lead to the reinforcement of nation states

 

“The human experience as a small group animal is largely over today for everyone”

111

the language of pseudokinship is widespread within states”

111

three kinds of circumscription”  the theme and theory of how nation-states develop

1.    geographic or environmental barriers

2.    resource and

3.    social

112

more frequent warfare and the rise of statehood

114

  Norms & Mechanisms of Cultural Evolution {115

 

They are examples of the modifications of norms

 

Diversification of family structures, agricultural revolution, the changing face of warfare

118

“Norms provide cultural... viscosity that can help sustain adaptive behavior and retard detrimental changes in society....”

change is itself is a daunting problem.”

115

stickiness can inhibit the introduction and spread of beneficial behaviors.”

115

"...the evolution of technological norms will generally be more rapid than that of ethical norms."

117

"Technological changes are usually tested promtly against environmental conditions–"

 

differential speeds of cultural evolution between essential and auxiliary features of tools

 

         Polynesian canoe designs are more divergent than the structural components necessary for navigation.

 

Suggest conservation of survival related qualities and elaboration of non-essential patterns

117

favoring  conservation cultural features that helped avoid disaster slowed the differentiation of structural characteristics.”

117

 brain sizes

 

“Understanding cultural evolution (and how our brains evolved to make it possible) is both fascinating and critical to an understanding of how homo sapiens (from a common ancestor with erectus) achieved global dominance.”

118

 

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[1] Norepinephrine is both a hormone and a neurotransmitter. As a hormone, secreted by the adrenal gland, it works alongside epinephrine / adrenaline to give the body sudden energy in times of stress, known as the "fight or flight" response. As a neurotransmitter, it passes nerve impulses from one neuron to the next. C8 H11 NO3 is the molecular formula for the hormone.