Applied Evolution

Nick Corduan (nickc@IQUEST.NET)
Sat, 23 Sep 1995 12:25:27 -0500

Several people have recently wondered what, if any, practical value
evolutionary thought has for anthropology, irrespective of its hotle-debated
relevancy. (And I'm setting aside the survival of the fit issue for the

The application of evolutionary thought which I'm most familiar with would be
to historical anthropology, where it can help debunk the beloved template
model of cultures.

In northwestern Peru, for example, the template model holds that there were th
Moche, the Chicama, the Blackware, the Chimu, etc... -- a chroological
succession of different, individual, and *unique cultures*. A
little application of evolutionary thought -- development, adaptation,
mutation, etc... -- and you can see the striking likelihood that all of these
were merely stages in the development of a single culture, not separate
cultural entities.


Nick Corduan "...there is as much dignity in tilling
at a field as in writing a poem."
( --Booker T. Washington