The Poetry of Our Lives, A Cultural Evolution


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The first draft in particular requires concentration that is a kind of meditation. What subjects or themes commonly appear in your work? What are you obsessed with? My subjects and themes are many, from creating a persona and narrative to go with that persona to science, myth, current events such as LGBTQ issues and other issues regarding social injustice , travel, and other personal experience. I have gone through several periods when I was obsessed to the point of having to express my feelings and what I had learned through poetry.

I read it with increasing enthusiasm and began a personal and archetypal examination in poetry of the anima, the female archetype in history, myth, the collective unconscious, and in my own psyche. The result was my book, The Age of the Mother. No matter what subject Zuni fetish carvings, various cultures and mythologies, a new love, the death of a former lover or of others who have touched me, etc. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Academic Skip to main content.

Search Start Search. Choose your country or region Close. Ebook This title is available as an ebook. To purchase, visit your preferred ebook provider. Oxford Scholarship Online This book is available as part of Oxford Scholarship Online - view abstracts and keywords at book and chapter level. Cultural Evolution Conceptual Challenges Tim Lewens A lively study of how we think about human life and who we are A persuasive reassessment of the scope of evolutionary explanation Important new work by a leading writer on science Promises to shape further debate on this most controversial of subjects.

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Chapter 4. Society and Modern Life

Everything Flows Daniel J. Nicholson and John Dupre. The Smart Neanderthal Clive Finlayson. Kahn, Anna C. Mastroianni, and Jeremy Sugarman. Genetic evolution is shaping us to be cultural learners, but then the interesting part is that that turns around, and cultural evolution begins to shape our genetic evolution. Say something simple like the evolution of technology: you begin to produce fire and cooking and knowledge about how to process plants and animals, how to cook meat. A lot of our digestion is actually done externally — so we have to put much less energy into our digestive system.

This is because we have all this culturally learned know-how about how to process foods. One interesting thing about the sociology of the field is that in the s, when socio-biology first began to emerge and try to apply evolution to explain human behaviour, the culture wars emerged.

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On the other side, people like Richard Dawkins argued that genetic evolution played an important role in explaining behaviour and human behavioural variation. I argue in my book that the central driving force in human genetic evolution—that gave us big brains, shaped our hands and dexterity as well as our feet and other parts of our anatomy—was actually created by cultural evolution. Tools and social institutions and languages shaped our genes.

And some people might disagree. Are you finding a lot of resistance to the idea? Of course there is disagreement, there is always going to be disagreement. In environments high in pathogens, people are nervous about strangers who might carry pathogens, so they become more introverted, more xenophobic, less willing to engage with others.

But once the pathogens are removed from the environment, then it is much more beneficial and adaptive to interact more broadly with large social networks because you are less likely to get pathogens. A lot of times the environment, the things that cue up these different psychological processes, are themselves influenced by cultural evolution.

There used to be malaria in southern England. So that changes the pathogen environment in ways that then shift this evoked psychology. So, for example, if you want to study economic behaviour, you can study it in economics, or in economic anthropology. Psychologists study economic decision-making. And you get quite a different picture of how people make decisions and the importance of economics depending on which of those social science disciplines you are in. Get the weekly Five Books newsletter.


  1. Harlem Renaissance.
  2. POETIC LOGICS NO-2 — Tri-Centric Foundation.
  3. Poetry in Africa - Wikipedia.
  4. CUT;
  5. BBC - Radio 4 - Reith Lectures - The End of Age.

So if you look at how economists think about energising innovation, they often want to increase the incentive to inventors, so beef up the patent laws or create some way in which inventors can make more money on their inventions. What I argue is that human invention has always been a product of the interaction of minds.


  1. Confidencias PAPARAZZI. La epoca dorada (Spanish Edition).
  2. The background;
  3. Journey into Abbas Heart (Abbas Heart of Love).
  4. Raising Children in a Socially Toxic Environment;
  5. In Parenthesis: in praise of the Somme's forgotten poet.
  6. The Evolution of Culture.

Cultural evolution moves faster and we produce more innovations and better adaptive bodies of knowledge when individuals are, through luck or through their own insights, generating ideas, but then these ideas can rapidly recombine with other ideas. I lay out evidence in my book that larger and more interconnected societies produce faster cultural evolution and have fancier tools. So, if you really want to energise innovation, you should create larger collective brains — in other words, interconnect more minds and allow information to flow more freely among people with diverse areas of knowledge and expertise.

Why have you picked it? How does it fit in? I really picked this book because for me, and I think for lots of people, it was an entry point into thinking about applying evolutionary principles to human behaviour. In a very user-friendly way, it gives you some of the basic tools you can use to start thinking about it.

Cultural evolution—or what Dawkins described as mimetic evolution or memes—creates the second system of inheritance that feeds back and drives genetic evolution. So you have to think of these as only partially separate inheritance systems in which one can feed back and drive the other. You should also think of genetic evolution as building the machinery for acquiring culture.

Why was it so groundbreaking at the time? You think about what is good for the gene, and that allows you to solve a bunch of puzzles about altruism, about why people would help those who have copies of those same genes. But, it turned out, that was just one among a number of different ways of looking at genetic evolution. Another way is to partition, to think about different groups competing and the genetic composition of those different groups, and that can be useful for certain kinds of problems. So there are at least three different ways to think about genetic evolution, which are useful for solving different kinds of evolutionary problems.

I put it on the list because it was inspirational to me, though I like to think we now have an enriched way of looking at things that goes beyond what we did in the 70s. Tell me about this book. The demographic transition is a big puzzle for evolutionary biology because since about , Western populations have been having fewer and fewer babies. The richer you are, the more educated you are, the fewer babies you tend to have.

So your fitness is lower, in an evolutionary sense. How can we explain that? So, as a kind of mental toy, he develops this idea that culture could be like that, that there can be memes that are passed from mind to mind, and the success of a meme depends on its ability to fertilise many different heads. Independent of that memes lineage, there is this lineage of cultural evolution that starts with Feldman and Cavalli-Sforza.

That is a highly technical mathematical branch that then blossoms into modern gene cultural co-evolution and cultural evolution. As soon as you have women having babies later in life, you immediately reduce the total number of babies. They have a fixed window, so if you close the window a little bit, you are going to have fewer babies. In pre-industrial societies, children could be converted directly into economic production because they can work on the farm and they can have jobs.

Why is it that you seem to be so rich and have so much and we have so little? I found that a difficult question to give an easy answer to. The book is a masterpiece in terms of integrating a vast range of material from different disciplines, material on language, archaeology, comparative bio-geography, with also lots of his own ethnographic field studies peppered in there. It was inspirational to me for doing that kind of work.

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Clifton Snider – OUT LOUD: A Cultural Evolution

The Secret of Our Success , the book I wrote, has that flavour of pulling together stuff from across the diverse social sciences. Oftentimes populations need an invention and they never get it, and instead they die out. Then oftentimes when inventions do pop up, they drift around for years and nobody puts them to use until finally somebody figures out how to use them.

Memetic Transcendence through Culture and Language - Spoken Word Poetry
The Poetry of Our Lives, A Cultural Evolution
The Poetry of Our Lives, A Cultural Evolution
The Poetry of Our Lives, A Cultural Evolution
The Poetry of Our Lives, A Cultural Evolution
The Poetry of Our Lives, A Cultural Evolution
The Poetry of Our Lives, A Cultural Evolution
The Poetry of Our Lives, A Cultural Evolution

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