Re: Darwin and Foucault

Matthew Hill (mhill@WATARTS.UWATERLOO.CA)
Fri, 13 May 1994 08:55:51 -0400

On Thu, 12 May 1994, Matt Tomaso wrote: Quoting Dan Foss

> Daniel A. Foss made a series of very interesting and reasonable stabs at
> clarifying the evolutionism issue earlier. For example:
> > For culture and society, there are no analogues to organismic death, hence
> >none, too, to Natural Selection. The usage "evolution" is a metaphor, as said
> >above; also a snare and delusion.
I somehow missed the original, but it demands a comment. I am far from
sure that I agree with the notion that cultural 'death', or perhaps
better extinction, does not occur, but
it is really rather irrelevant. As I just finished explaining to my
Anthro 101 Human and Cultural Evolution class, evolution does not occur
in individuals, it is a statistical phenomena occuring in populations.
Homo erectus evolved into Homo sapiens, Norse Culture evolved into
Icelandic, Faeroese, etc. cultures. The death of individuals except
as it relates to opportunity for genetic/behavioural transmission is
an irrelevancy in either case.

Matthew Hill - Anthropology, University of Waterloo, CANADA