Evolutionary Developments

John McCreery (JLM@TWICS.COM)
Fri, 29 Sep 1995 16:36:57 +0900

John Giacobbe writes, distinguishing between biological and cultural modes
of information transmission that, "Cultural transmission
of trait expression occurs through social mechanisms of communication,
with trait expression information residing in the collective consciousness of
the population as accumulated experience."

I am curious about how evolutionary archeologists establish the boundaries
of "the population" (given the human tendency to interact and interbreed
in any situation short of absolute geographical isolation) and "the
collective consciousness" thereof, since, as Giacobbe observes in
commenting on Matt Tomaso's remarks, consciousness is not directly
preserved in the archeological record. (Or, perhaps it is, in which case
his reply to Tomaso loses much of its force.)

John McCreery