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Powerpoint Presentation: Genetic v. Culural Evolution

 

Evolution Index

The origins of life
Evolution and Fixity
Natural selection
Lamarkian Evolution
Antibiotic Resistance
Industrial melanism
Palaeontology : The study of fossils
The C-14 Decay Curve
In Search of Deep Time
Evolution of the Horse
Punctuated Equilibrium
The classification of living organisms : Taxonomy
Kingdoms
Humans: Neotonous, bipedal African apes
The Hominids
The Changing Trees of Human Evolution
Phenylketonuria (PKU) Fact Sheet
Cystic Fibrocis (CF) Fact Sheet

Topic Chapters Index

 

Comparison

GENETIC

CULTURAL

The product of natural selection

The product of learning. the transmission of acquired behaviour characteristics

Darwinian

Lamarkian

Innate not modified during the organism's life time

Learned during the life time

Passed on through hereditary information

Passed on to kin (family), social group, population, within a generation and between generations.

Slow change

Fast change

 

EVOLUTION

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Genetic verses Cultural Evolution

The relative importance of genetic and cultural evolution for humans

  • Not limited to humans examples found amongst birds and non-human primates

  • Genetic evolution determines features such as basic anatomy e.g. maximum cranial capacity that in turn will determine "intelligence".

  • sets the possible scope of cultural evolution.

  • Hominid cultures are associated with particular cultures:

 

Homo habilis

Oldowan culture

Simple choppers, scrapers and flakes

Homo erectus

Acheulian culture

Hand axes, cleaver and pick added to the tool box

Homo neanderthalensis

Mousterian culture

Large flakes of uniform size produced from a core; these were then trimmed to the desired tool.

Homo sapiens

Soultrian culture

Delicate blades formed, knives, burins (for drilling); other materials added (bone, antler, and ivory). Some tools now ceremonial

     

  • This implies genetic evolution had to precede cultural evolution.

  • Development of cultural innovation sometimes occurs a long time after the species evolves genetically

  • But when it happens it spreads quickly

  • e.g. Homo sapiens evolved with a large cranial capacity and modern brain structure 150000a ago. Signs of symbolic thought processes in sculpture, wall paintings and adornments do not appear until 35000a ago. A fundamental change is thought to have occurred about 60 to 70000a ago.

  • But is this an artefact of preservation?

 

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