Re: Social Evolution *is* Linear

Fri, 13 May 1994 11:50:07 PST

>picture of the way in which "Social Evolution" is related to Biological
>Evolution. Perhaps I'm incorrect in assuming that Bio Evolution is the
>intended model, but, assuming it is, are there any counterparts to
>mutation, gene flow, etc in "Social Evolution"?
>| Kevin Hendrickson / "Nyabinghi Warrior" |
>| / / |
Seems to me that counterparts to mutation = any new practise or custom or
invention. Thus (to
refer to the earlier posts, I know nothing about this personally) when one
person decides to take
a partner along when going sealing, that is a mutation. When all the people who
take partners
live and the ones who do not take partners die, that is a successful mutation.
If things go the
other way around, you could call that a stupid idea, or you could call it an
mutation. Thus for example making VHS players has turned out to be a successful
while making Betas has not.
Gene flow, I suppose, is when you teach your children how to tie their shoes. Or
when you
teach them to like KoolAde. Not everything we teach them is beneficial, just as
not everything
we inherit genetically is beneficial. One advantage of social evolution over
biological evolution is
that children can be and are taught by many people besides their parents.

I have been asked to read a book called Ishmael (sorry I forget the author's
name) and to
consider adopting it for a freshman course. I am still reading it, so will not
comment yet, but I
would welcome other people's comments if they have read it. It's about a gorilla
who has
figured out what is wrong with mankind. (sorry humanity? less sexist?)

Karen Eva Carr
History Department
Portland State University
Portland Oregon 97203
(503) 725-5472