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Forget memes. You should be studying cultural evolution | Seshat



Mar 8, 2016 - Instead, here's a new meme from me using a quote from Alex Mesoudi,

a professor of cultural evolution at the University of Exeter: ....


These issues about applying evolutionary thinking to cultural change or social change 

have gone back a very long time and people have thought about them in a markedly ...


What makes humans so different from other animals is our collective intelligence

and our cumulative culture, not our uniformly superior intelligence.


In fact, we’re not that smart. As Joe Henrich points out in his recent and excellent book, The Secret of Our Success: How Culture is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter, when compared with chimpanzees and orangutans,

our species only clearly excels in one form of intelligence known as social intelligence.


One of Henrich’s recent collaborators summarized this argument in this short video:



Several important questions arise:


  • How should we study culture?

  • How do we come to inherit culture?

  • Can the study of culture be Darwinian?

  • What is the future of human evolution?


These four questions provided the structure of a discussion that I attended Monday night at the London School of Economics (LSE)

entitled ‘Darwinism and the Social Sciences’.

Addressing these questions were three professors:

Exeter’s Alex Mesoudi, Cambridge’s Tim Lewens, and St. Andrew’s Christina Toren.



Comments (2)

Bob-RJ Burkhart said

at 6:11 am on Mar 12, 2018

Bob-RJ Burkhart said

at 8:02 am on Dec 18, 2018

AcroSpeak-MSC: Modern Social/Sustainable Change

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