Re: thought-experiment

Ted (
17 Sep 1996 12:56:53 GMT

Len Piotrowski ( wrote:
: In article <51fo3i$> (Bryant) writes:
: >In article <m-pg0123.842738796@mrslate>,
: >Paul Gallagher <> wrote:
: >The favored sociobiological/evolutionary psychological perspective, I think,
: >currently is that species-typical evolved psychological adaptations
: >generate a diversity of cultural elements in different ecological and
: >historical settings. You describe a behavioral genetics view above.
: How can there be an evolved generalized psychological adaptation for every
: ecological and historical settings known for human culture?

The ability to learn seems to be a good example of such a generalized
psychological adaptation. Granted, an individual's ability to learn must
be brought out and varies greatly with environment (including culture).
However, the fact that all humans can learn, while many animals can't,
indicates that the ability to learn is genetic.

: >>I am suggesting that a
: >>culture that is autonomous from the genes would better serve the
: >>reproduction of the genes than a culture that is determined by the genes.
: >Superorganic theory? Why would practices be adopted which do not reflect
: >evolved individual strivings?

Actually, such a culture would seem to better reflect evolved individual
strivings. I don't see it as 'superorganic', but, rather, as being more
flexible and responsive than a culture that is based, directly or
indirectly, on genes. At least, if I understand Paul's post...

The problem is, however, that this sort of culture could, by its very
nature, be detrimentally unstable.

Anyway, I'd write more, but work calls. Very annoying.