Evolution of culture, Biology

A general agreerncnt anlong nll the human evolutionists who may have a very radical philosophical hackground and convictions is that man is the result of an extraordinary evolutionary process. Whereas evidence is available from fossil remains of our ancestors and relatives for the comparative morphology and even anatomy to structure a biological classification, fossil forms do not record the behavioural aspects of man. Essentially the artifacts or the environment in which the fossils were found have to be examined judiciously to draw inferences, relating to the behaviour and cultural aspects. For instance, aggressiveness is a behaviour pattern but this behaviour pattern cannot be fossilised. On the other band, the environment in which the sharp fossile tool, and the fossils of big animals killed by game hunting speak volumes of the aggressive behaviour of the men of the times. The uniqueness of man can be attributed to the instinctive culture that he has evolved. Culture is sum total of a store of information and behaviour patterns. This is inherited by one generation from the other by instruction and learning and by examples and imitation. In other words, although the culture by itself may not be controlled by genes, the capacity tc acquire it is determined genetically. As we discussed in our earlier section, the symbol systems should have played a significant role in the transmission of cultures. Because of this difference that the culture is not transmitted by genes, it is called "superorganic". This notion is not necessarily true. After all it is only the possessors of the human genotype who can acquire, transmit, innovate or transmute culture. In other words, human genotypes are indispensible for culture although the genotypes themselves do not decide which one of the variants of the existing cultures they will acquire. It amounts to saying that there are no genes for Hindu, Islamic, Sikh, American, Chinese or European cultures. The acquiring of a particular culture depends on the environment in which a child is brought up. The same argument can be extended to the concept of the learning and using of a language. Such acts although are decided by genes, the genes do not decide which particular language will be learnt.

Posted Date: 4/5/2013 2:52:27 AM | Location : United States

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