- Aug 2023
I should like to add that specialization, instead of makingthe Great Conversation irrelevant, makes it more pertinentthan ever. Specialization makes it harder to carry on anykind of conversation; but this calls for greater effort, not theabandonment of the attempt.
The dramatic increase in economic specialization of humanity driven by the Industrial Revolution has many benefits to societies, but it also has detrimental effects when the core knowledge and shared base of the society is lost.
Certainly individuals have a greater reliance on specialists for future outcomes (think about the specialization of areas like climate science which can have destructive outcomes on all of humanity or public health outcomes with respect to vaccines and specialized health care delivery), but they also need to have a common base of knowledge/culture and the ability to think critically for themselves to be able to effect necessary changes, particularly when the pace of those changes is more rapid than humans have generally been evolved to accept them.
About ten years ago, a massive breakthrough happened in genomic research technology. A method appeared which is called NGS, next generation sequencing, and this method significantly cuts time and costs of any genomic research. For example, have you ever heard about the Human Genome Project? It was quite a popular topic for science fiction some time ago. 00:03:10 This project launched in 1990 with the goal to decrypt all genomic information in a human organism. At that time, with the technology of the time, it took ten years and three billion dollars to reach the goals of this project. With NGS, all of that can be done in just one day at the cost of 15,000 dollars.
- for: progress trap, cumulative cultural evolution, gene-culture co-evolution, speed of cultural evolution, human genome project
- the human genome project took 10 years and cost 3 billion dollars
- with NGS technology, 10 years later, the same job takes 1 day and costs $15,000 dollars
for: gene culture coevolution, carrying capacity, unsustainability, overshoot, cultural evolution, progress trap
Title: The genetic and cultural evolution of unsustainability
Author: Brian F. Snyder
- Anthropogenic changes are accelerating and threaten the future of life on earth.
- While the proximate mechanisms of these anthropogenic changes are well studied
- climate change,
- biodiversity loss,
- population growth
- the evolutionary causality of these anthropogenic changes have been largely ignored.
- Anthroecological theory (AET) proposes that the ultimate cause of anthropogenic environmental change is
- multi-level selection for niche construction and ecosystem engineering.
- Here, we integrate this theory with
- Lotka’s Maximum Power Principle
- and propose a model linking
- energy extraction from the environment with
- genetic, technological and cultural evolution
- to increase human ecosystem carrying capacity.
- Carrying capacity is partially determined by energetic factors such as
- the net energy a population can acquire from its environment and
- the efficiency of conversion from energy input to offspring output.
- These factors are under Darwinian genetic selection
- in all species,
- but in humans, they are also determined by
- technology and
- If there is genetic or non-genetic heritable variation in
- the ability of an individual or social group
- to increase its carrying capacity,
- then we hypothesize that - selection or cultural evolution will act - to increase carrying capacity.
- Furthermore, if this evolution of carrying capacity occurs
- faster than the biotic components of the ecological system can respond via their own evolution,
- then we hypothesize that unsustainable ecological changes will result.
- cumulative cultural evolution
- human niche construction
- Anthroecological theory
- conscious cumulative cultural evolution
- evolution of polycrisis
- progress trap - cultural evolution
- evolution of our polycrisis
- progress trap
- gene-culture coevolution
- The genetic and cultural evolution of unsustainability
- Brian F Snyder
- niche construction
- evolution of the anthropocene
- Jul 2023
The consequences of our current choices bear not juston us. They bear on the continued evolutionary unfoldingof life in the universe. This marks the scale of our currentresponsibility
- for: human impacts, MET, major evolutionary transition, progress trap, human responsibility to life, CCE, cumulative cultural evolution, playing God
- Very true, in fact our species is in the unprecedented position that
- human activity, and specifically our cumulative cultural evolution (CCE) now determines the biological / genetic evolutionary future not only of our own species, but of all life on earth.
- In other words, of evolution itself! -This is an awkward position as we have nowhere near the wisdom to play God and determine the future direction of evolution!
- The Buddha taught that everything is
- connected and
- constantly changing.
- These fundamental observations of the world are shared by
- ecology and
- We are living in a time of unprecedented rates of extinction.
- Science provides us with the information that we need to address this extinction crisis.
- However, the problems underlying extinction generally do not result from a lack of scientific understanding,
- but they rather result from an unwillingness to take the needed action.
I present mindfulness and meditative aspects of Zen practice that provide the deeper “knowing,” or awareness that we need to inspire action on these problems.
- emptiness is interdependency and change
- in Deep Humanity praxis, it is equivalent to
- human INTERbeing and
- human INTERbeCOMing
- The Buddha taught that everything is
- Mar 2023
It has been suggested that - the human species may be undergoing an evolutionary transition in individuality (ETI).
there is disagreement about - how to apply the ETI framework to our species - and whether culture is implicated - as either cause or consequence.
Long-term gene–culture coevolution (GCC) i- s - also poorly understood.
argued that - culture steers human evolution,
Others proposed - genes hold culture on a leash.
After review of the literature and evidence on long-term GCC in humans - emerge a set of common themes. - First, culture appears to hold greater adaptive potential than genetic inheritance - and is probably driving human evolution. - The evolutionary impact of culture occurs - mainly through culturally organized groups, - which have come to dominate human affairs in recent millennia. - Second, the role of culture appears to be growing, - increasingly bypassing genetic evolution and weakening genetic adaptive potential. -Taken together, these findings suggest that human long-term GCC is characterized by - an evolutionary transition in inheritance - from genes to culture - which entails a transition in individuality (from genetic individual to cultural group). Research on GCC should focus on the possibility of - an ongoing transition in the human inheritance system.
- evolution of the anthropocene
- major evolutionary transition
- gene-culture coevolution
- evolution of polycrisis
- evolution of our polycrisis
- human niche construction
- cultural evolution overtaking genetic evolution
As a consequence of sociocultural niche construction, humans have become a global force of nature – for better and for worse. It is only by embracing these sociocultural realities that we might shape better futures for both humans and non-human species alike.
// In Other Words
- we must undo the myopic cultural evolution that has already taken place with a more collectively conscious form of cultural evolution //
Gene–culture coevolution and the nature of human sociality
- Title: Gene–culture coevolution and the nature of human sociality
- Author: Herbert Gintis
//Abstract - Summary - Human characteristics are the product of gene–culture coevolution, - which is an evolutionary dynamic involving the interaction of genes and culture - over long time periods. - Gene–culture coevolution is a special case of niche construction. - Gene–culture coevolution is responsible for: - human other-regarding preferences, - a taste for fairness, - the capacity to empathize and - salience of morality and character virtues.
- Title: Human niche construction in interdisciplinary focus
- Jeremy Kendal
- Jamshid J. Tehrani
- John Oding-Smee
- Niche construction is an endogenous causal process in evolution,
- reciprocal to the causal process of natural selection.
- It works by adding ecological inheritance,
- comprising the inheritance of natural selection pressures previously modified by niche construction,
- to genetic inheritance in evolution.
- Human niche construction modifies selection pressures in environments in ways that affect both human evolution, and the evolution of other species.
- Human ecological inheritance is exceptionally potent
- because it includes the social transmission and inheritance
- of cultural knowledge, and material culture.
- Human genetic inheritance
- in combination with human cultural inheritance
- thus provides a basis for gene–culture coevolution,
- and multivariate dynamics in cultural evolution.
- Niche construction theory potentially integrates the biological and social aspects of the human sciences.
- We elaborate on these processes,
- and provide brief introductions to each of the papers published in this theme issue.
- The exhibition of increasingly intensive and complex niche construction behaviors through time
- is a key feature of human evolution,
- culminating in the advanced capacity for ecosystem engineering exhibited by Homo sapiens.
- A crucial outcome of such behaviors has been the dramatic reshaping of the global biosphere,
- a transformation whose early origins are increasingly apparent
- from cumulative archaeological and paleoecological datasets.
- Such data suggest that, by the Late Pleistocene,
- humans had begun to engage in activities
- that have led to alterations in the distributions of a vast array of species
- across most, if not all, taxonomic groups.
- Changes to biodiversity have included
- extirpations, and
- shifts in species
- diversity, and
- community structure.
- We outline key examples of these changes,
- highlighting findings from the study of new datasets, like
- ancient DNA (aDNA),
- stable isotopes, and
- microfossils, as well as
- the application of new statistical and computational methods to datasets that have accumulated significantly in recent decades.
- We focus on four major phases that witnessed broad anthropogenic alterations to biodiversity:
- the Late Pleistocene global human expansion,
- the Neolithic spread of agriculture,
- the era of island colonization, and
- the emergence of early urbanized societies and commercial networks.
- Archaeological evidence documents millennia of anthropogenic transformations
- that have created novel ecosystems around the world.
- This record has implications for:
- ecological and evolutionary research,
- conservation strategies, and
- the maintenance of ecosystem services,
- pointing to a significant need for broader cross-disciplinary engagement between:
- the biological sciences and
- the environmental sciences.
Ecological consequences of human niche construction: Examining long-term anthropogenic shaping of global species distributions
- Title: Ecological consequences of human niche construction: Examining long-term anthropogenic shaping of global species distributions
- Nicole L. Bolvin
- Melinda A. Zeder
- Dorian O. Fuller
- Michael D. Petraglia
- Jan 2023
In each case, a small population produced a star-burst of pioneers who permanently changed our way of thinking. Genius erupted in groups as well as in individuals. It seems likely that these bursts of creative change were driven by a combination of cultural with biological evolution. Cultural evolution was constantly spreading ideas and skills from one community to another, stirring up conservative societies with imported novelties. At the same time, biological evolution acting on small genetically isolated populations was causing genetic drift, so that the average intellectual endowment of isolated communities was rising and falling by random chance. Over the last few thousand years, genetic drift caused occasional star-bursts to occur, when small populations rose to outstandingly high levels of average ability. The combination of imported new ideas with peaks of genetic drift would enable local communities to change the world.
!- explaining human history : combination of cultural and biological evolution
We believe that we have demonstrated the use of abstract marks to convey meaning about the behaviour of the animals with which they are associated, on European Upper Palaeolithic material culture spanning the period from ~37,000 to ~13,000 bp. In our reading, the animals integral to our analytical modules do not depict a specific individual animal, but all animals of that species, at least as experienced by the images’ creators. This synthesis of image, mathematical syntax (the ordinal/linear sequences) and signs functioning as words formed an efficient means of recording and communicating information that has at its heart the core intellectual achievement of abstraction.
- Oct 2022
Out of our cleverness has emerged something almost more importantthan the cleverness itself. Out of it has come learning about how to share ideasand pass down skills and knowledge. Out of it has come education.
Gary Thomas posits that it's our cleverness which birthed education. Isn't it more likely our extreme ability to mimic others which is more likely from a cognitive and evolutionary perspective?
Were early peoples really "teaching" each other how to make primitive hand axes? Or did we first start out by closely mimicking our neighbors?
- Sep 2022
The Evolution of Human Consciousness and Linguistic Behavior
!- title : The Evolution of Human Consciousness and Linguistic Behavior !- author : Karen A. Haworth, Terry J. Prewitt
Far beyond simply altering human evolution, this evidence suggests that human cultural inheritance is of global evolutionary significance.
!- impact : human cultural evolution - is of global evolutionary significance
- Apr 2022
Humans’ tendency to“overimitate”—to reproduce even the gratuitous elements of another’s behavior—may operate on a copy now, understand later basis. After all, there might begood reasons for such steps that the novice does not yet grasp, especially sinceso many human tools and practices are “cognitively opaque”: not self-explanatory on their face. Even if there doesn’t turn out to be a functionalrationale for the actions taken, imitating the customs of one’s culture is a smartmove for a highly social species like our own.
Is this responsible for some of the "group think" seen in the Republican party and the political right? Imitation of bad or counter-intuitive actions outweights scientifically proven better actions? Examples: anti-vaxxers and coronavirus no-masker behaviors? (Some of this may also be about or even entangled with George Lakoff's (?) tribal identity theories relating to "people like me".
Explore this area more deeply.
Another contributing factor for this effect may be the small-town effect as most Republican party members are in the countryside (as opposed to the larger cities which tend to be more Democratic). City dwellers are more likely to be more insular in their interpersonal relations whereas country dwellers may have more social ties to other people and groups and therefor make them more tribal in their social interrelationships. Can I find data to back up this claim?
How does link to the thesis put forward by Joseph Henrich in The WEIRDest People in the World: How the West Became Psychologically Peculiar and Particularly Prosperous? Does Henrich have data about city dwellers to back up my claim above?
What does this tension have to do with the increasing (and potentially evolutionary) propensity of humans to live in ever-increasingly larger and more dense cities versus maintaining their smaller historic numbers prior to the pre-agricultural timeperiod?
What are the biological effects on human evolution as a result of these cultural pressures? Certainly our cultural evolution is effecting our biological evolution?
What about the effects of communication media on our cultural and biological evolution? Memes, orality versus literacy, film, radio, television, etc.? Can we tease out these effects within the socio-politico-cultural sphere on the greater span of humanity? Can we find breaks, signs, or symptoms at the border of mass agriculture?
total aside, though related to evolution: link hypercycles to evolution spirals?
- urban vs. rural
- city vs. town
- follow the herd
- spatial relationships
- evolution spirals
- group think
- Big History
- Joseph Henrich
- comparative anthropology
- imitation > innovation
- human evolution
- Mar 2022
Finding relevant information and understanding it well enough to integrate it into existing knowledge requires intense commitment and concentration.
- Feb 2022
“Manipulations such as variation, spacing, introducing contextualinterference, and using tests, rather than presentations, as learningevents, all share the property that they appear during the learningprocess to impede learning, but they then often enhance learning asmeasured by post-training tests of retention and transfer. Conversely,manipulations such as keeping conditions constant and predictable andmassing trials on a given task often appear to enhance the rate oflearning during instruction or training, but then typically fail to supportlong-term retention and transfer” (Bjork, 2011, 8).
This is a surprising effect for teaching and learning, and if true, how can it be best leveraged. Worth reading up on and testing this effect.
Indeed humans do seem built for categorizing and creating taxonomies and hierarchies, and perhaps allowing this talent to do some of the work may be the best way to learn not only in the short term, but over longer term evolutionary periods?
- Feb 2021
Seitz, B. M., Aktipis, A., Buss, D. M., Alcock, J., Bloom, P., Gelfand, M., Harris, S., Lieberman, D., Horowitz, B. N., Pinker, S., Wilson, D. S., & Haselton, M. G. (2020). The pandemic exposes human nature: 10 evolutionary insights. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 117(45), 27767–27776. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2009787117
- cultural evolution
- human nature
- evolutionary medicine
- Sep 2018
Instead of taking these characteristics and saying that they are the basis for “human dignity,” why don’t we simply accept our destiny as creatures who modify themselves?
He mentioned several times that human nature can be the basis for values and morality, but here he says that human nature is subject to change. In that case It sounds like he believes that the standards of morality and value which are based on human nature should also change and that doesn't sound like very firm ground to stand on.
- Dec 2016