Definition of Culture

Fri, 6 Oct 1995 10:24:54 CST

I. Davidson's suggestion that culture was "invented" during the last
five million years of hominid evolution is quite alien to my way of
thinking. I did benefit from his specification of a clear meaning for
the idea of our "continuity" with nature. Unless evolutionary theory
somehow is fundamentally misguided, all forms of life--with the possible
exception of some of the one-celled ciliates, evidently--are indeed
connected to one another *continuously* by evolutionary lines; the only
question is, how far back--in time or in cladistic forks--do you have to
go to reach a shared ancestor. Our species' continuity with chimps,
then, is established by going back perhaps 8 mya; with algae, nearly 4
bya. --Bob Graber