Re: Definitions of culture

Danny Yee (danny@STAFF.CS.USYD.EDU.AU)
Fri, 9 Aug 1996 11:35:05 +1000

> Sorry, Danny. Adaptation and learning are not the same thing. Adaptation is
> genetic and learning is not. There is no such thing as genetic learning, nor
> is there any such thing as non-genetic adaptation.

But you wrote that *non-human* animals have only genetic adaptations,
implying that humans _do_ have "non-genetic adaptation".

In any event, your claim is still wrong unless you *define*
"adaptation" as "genetic adaptation" (are you a sociobiologist?).
Cytosomal inheritance is non-genetic but perfectly capable of
supporting evolutionary adaptations.

Also, since there are (some) well-documented leaks in Weissmann's barier
(reversals of the Central Dogma that mandates that information flows
DNA->RNA->protein), there are at least a few clear-cut examples of
genetic learning.

You are probably going to tell me that learning is what humans do and that
adaptation is what animals do, at which point I will just throw up my
hands in despair!