group behaviour, adaptation?

Fri, 1 Jul 1994 21:38:29 +0100

Sorry for the first empty message, it is getting late
Yesterday I went to see Stephen J. Gould at a seminar.
He talked about the difference between adaptations and
'not adaptational features'. When for some reason
adaptation arise, by the process of natural selection,
often other constraints or features arise with it. Ones
these features have arisen they can of course be used by
the species in a functional way. In this way
'constraints' can also become usefull.
He used the example of religion as something that holds
a group of humans together. It may wel be that religion
arose historically as an answer to questions that
couldn't be answered in another way. Being important
questions, because they are of course so attached to
powerfull emotions.
But later on it could have turned out to be an important
tool for keeping groups together. If we assume that
there was some kind of advantage for groups that were
very tight.
Maybe humans became very open to religion because of the
advantages of groups that had religion.
But this could have been managed in two different ways.
People wanting to be part of groups-processes, granted
that you agree this is a fact, could have this feature
because it is in the genes, or because cultures from
that time on have kept this group-culture alive, a kind
of cultural/social replication rather than genetic.
Is there a view in anthropology that says anything about
this problem? Or are there a hundred or so that all
claim different views? Can somebody fil me in here?
|Hans-Cees Speel Technical Department Policy Analysis |
|Technical University Delft, The Netherlands |
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|Theories come and go, the frog stays |
|(Jacob, F) |
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