David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (4):329-347 (2006)
We suggest that human culture exhibits key Darwinian evolutionary properties, and argue that the structure of a science of cultural evolution should share fundamental features with the structure of the science of biological evolution. This latter claim is tested by outlining the methods and approaches employed by the principal subdisciplines of evolutionary biology and assessing whether there is an existing or potential corresponding approach to the study of cultural evolution. Existing approaches within anthropology and archaeology demonstrate a good match with the macroevolutionary methods of systematics, paleobiology, and biogeography, whereas mathematical models derived from population genetics have been successfully developed to study cultural microevolution. Much potential exists for experimental simulations and field studies of cultural microevolution, where there are opportunities to borrow further methods and hypotheses from biology. Potential also exists for the cultural equivalent of molecular genetics in “social cognitive neuroscience,” although many fundamental issues have yet to be resolved. It is argued that studying culture within a unifying evolutionary framework has the potential to integrate a number of separate disciplines within the social sciences. (Published Online November 9 2006) Key Words: cultural anthropology; cultural evolution; cultural transmission; culture; evolution; evolutionary archaeology; evolutionary biology; gene-culture coevolution; memes; social learning.
|Keywords||cultural anthropology cultural evolution cultural transmission culture evolution evolutionary archaeology evolutionary biology gene-culture coevolution memes social learning|
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Nicolas Fay, Simon Garrod, Leo Roberts & Nik Swoboda (2010). The Interactive Evolution of Human Communication Systems. Cognitive Science 34 (3):351-386.
Robert Boyd, Peter J. Richerson & Joseph Henrich (2008). Five Misunderstandings About Cultural Evolution. Human Nature 19 (2):119-137.
John Odling-Smee & Kevin N. Laland (2011). Ecological Inheritance and Cultural Inheritance: What Are They and How Do They Differ? Biological Theory 6 (3):220-230.
Nick Chater & Morten H. Christiansen (2010). Language Acquisition Meets Language Evolution. Cognitive Science 34 (7):1131-1157.
Chris Buskes (2013). Darwinism Extended: A Survey of How the Idea of Cultural Evolution Evolved. Philosophia 41 (3):661-691.
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