The ancient biology of human evolution and the emergence of culture
The evolution of culture has always been an exigent topic as pertains to human sciences. Acceptance that human capacities bear an evolutionary basis raise queries about the transformation to possession of cultural capabilities without assuming they existed initially. Most commonly, it is assumed that human culture exists since all other lineages exhibit the same traits. This is best explained by the existence of dependent and independent cells.
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Independent cells show autonomous behavior and compete with other cells, while dependent cells exhibit behavior that is cooperative with other cells hence programmable genes. Genes personify organism structure and control cell specialization and integration, thus defining the structure and action capabilities of the organism. Memes exemplify super-organism design and influence organism development, specialization, and integration. With these in mind, culture can be defined as an evolving pool of memes (Ackley, 2010).
The distinction between cultural and biological evolution
Biological evolution entails a defined set of ancestors that can be distinguished clearly. This implies that relationship coefficients can be determined in addition to the estimation of genetic regression and correlation. This implies that character traits acquired during a person’s lifetime cannot be propagated in this manner. Cultural evolution can be propagated across a wide pool of unrelated persons in a large number of ways, including the media.
This implies that it may happen even with the existence of a wide space between associates. This implies that the propagation of hereditary characteristics rarely happens in this method. Based on the above-stated examples, it can be drawn that these evolutionary mechanisms have nothing in common, save for the fact that they refer to processes of trait propagation. Drawing comparisons between them is pointless because the culture is not produced by any process resembling natural selection (Burbridge, 2003).
The concept of memes; the reciprocity of biology and culture
Richard Dawkins, a celebrated evolutionary biologist, authored a title exploring the hypothesis that existing beings are only useful in transferring the genetic information they bear. This implies that genes constitute information units duplicating themselves and being propagated from generation to another to ensure permanence. As a result of his dissatisfaction with the Darwinian elucidation of individual mannerisms using genetics, he concludes the book by introducing a unit of transmission.
This unit, called a meme, is analogous to the genes and replicates itself by imitation and responds to external pressure. A meme can, therefore, be defined as a hypothesized unit of customary ideas, beliefs, and practices transferrable between mind writing, speech gestures, and other imitable happenings.
The naïveté of a useful idea: the human psyche as “a blank slate.”
Revered scholars have established that the human mind is blank at birth. This implies that infants are cultured and socialized to behave the way they do by their environment in conjunction with other factors. They also gain awareness through experience and perception. This echoed sentiments fronted by earlier scientists with respect to tabular rasa. As a result of this, it is evident that memes and genes play important roles in the mental development of an infant. Memes influence this development more than genes do as a result of their flexibility and their availability over large areas.
The philosophy of the body and its potentials
With reference to the real distinction argument as fronted by Descartes, the mind and body are of very distinct nature and vary from each other. He cites several factors as sources of motivation in his decision to pursue this study. It should be noted that he stops short of demonstrating several aspects of key aspects of his theories. Summarily, he argues that these two entities have to coexist, with the mind generating impulses and the body implementing them. While the capacity of the body is directly affected by the gene structure an infant is born with, that of the mind is determined by memes that the child is exposed to during his growth period (Skirry, 2003).
ackley.com. (2010). Genes, Memes, and Culture. Web.
Burbridge, D. (2003). BIOLOGICAL VERSUS CULTURAL EVOLUTION. Gene Expression. Web.
Skirry, J. (2003). René Descartes: The Mind-Body Distinction. Web.