Biological Evolution, Cultural Evolution

Photo by Lemuel Butler on Unsplash

Most of us know how biological evolution works; good old Darwinian science, natural selection, etc. etc. But, in the modern age, our societies transform and evolve at a much faster rate than any possible mutation. So, why is that?

I believe there are two types of evolution: biological evolution and cultural evolution. Not only that, but also that cultural evolution is much more important to the current state of humanity.

Cultural evolution can be defined as the development of societies over time based on the stories and traditions taught from one generation to the next. These mutations, based on events, are then transferred over to different groups. “Natural selection” occurs in the form of the ideas ability to spread; if the idea is shot down easily, then that line of the “mutation” will falter and die.

This develops through the nature/nurture theory, where the analog is of course nature -> biological evolution and nurture -> cultural evolution. Both of these combined help shape much of the individual, though their influence can decrease over time.

This might be very similar to Dawkins’ original theory of genes and memes. To be honest, I actually haven’t read too much into that theory; though I imagine if this does explain it then Dawkins’ interpretation is probably much more fleshed out.

I think, especially in the modern environment, it’s really important to understand how cultures evolve with time. Given our current political climate, and the crucial decisions that lie in our near future, tied with the fast pace of cultural evolution… some big changes are about to occur, for better or for worse.

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