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Importance of Cultural and Anthropological Knowledge Essay (Article)


The present article dwells upon the paramount importance of culture and anthropological knowledge. Palca stresses that the world is changing, and living beings should adapt to new environments (n.p.). The author notes that animals adapt genetically, i.e., new generations of species acquire specific features that help them survive and adapt. It is stated that evolution requires time and the necessary changes appear in the following generations. Thus, the author states that if a musk ox is transported to a desert, this species will perish as the animals simply do not have the necessary tools to get rid of the heat.

On the contrary, people do not adopt genetically any more, the author states. People use their wits to adapt. People accumulate knowledge that helps them survive in this or that environment. The author mentions a case of British sailors who perished in the Arctic. Those people failed to adapt to the harsh conditions. At the same time, Eskimos have been living in such harsh conditions for centuries. Palca notes that to adapt to a specific environment, people also need centuries or even thousands of years (n.p.). People accumulate knowledge and develop specific techniques to survive in this or that area.

The author concludes that cultural heritage is of paramount importance for people as it helps people adapt and evolve. It is also noted that anthropologists play a very important role in the process of knowledge accumulation as they gather data that can be used by contemporary people and the following generations. Some cultures disappear, but anthropologists manage to extract valuable knowledge that culture used to possess. This knowledge contributes to the development of humanity and the evolution of people. Therefore, it is important to preserve any culture as it can help people find answers to contemporary issues.

Attached Article

The present article is concerned with the evolution of culture and existing theories on the matter. Botz-Bornstein provides an analysis of Dawkins’ theory of memes and suggests that cultural evolution should be regarded in terms of wen philosophy (167). The author notes that the theory of memes is too structural; and formal. It is argued that the theory is based on the contrast between nature and culture. The author claims that memes are regarded as genes that are randomly acquired by people. The author notes that the memes can often be harmful for the proper evolution of people like genetic mutation can sometimes lead to degradation rather than the evolution of species.

Botz-Bornstein argues that this approach is inappropriate for the contemporary world (179). The author notes that when philosophy suggests a better understanding of the nature of cultural evolution. This theory is based on the idea of the integrity of natural and social worlds. In other words, civilization is not alienated from natural development. Botz-Bornstein stresses that cultures develop in accordance with basic natural laws (179).

The author claims that cultural evolution helps people adapt to the changing world. The author states that the western interpretation of cultural development (i.e., meme theory) is incomplete and should be revised to fit the contemporary world. The author also notes that it is time to reconsider the approach, which is still based on the opposition between nature and culture. The author suggests that cultural evolution should be regarded as a part of the biogenetical evolution of people and vice versa.

Works Cited

Botz-Bornstein, Thorsten. “Genes, Memes, and the Chinese Concept of Wen: Toward a Nature/Culture Model of Genetics.” Philosophy East & West 60.2 (2010): 167-186. Print.

Palca, Joe. “Evolving Culture: Where Do We Go from Here?” NPR. 2010. Web.

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IvyPanda. (2021, February 20). Importance of Cultural and Anthropological Knowledge. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/importance-of-cultural-and-anthropological-knowledge/

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"Importance of Cultural and Anthropological Knowledge." IvyPanda, 20 Feb. 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/importance-of-cultural-and-anthropological-knowledge/.

1. IvyPanda. "Importance of Cultural and Anthropological Knowledge." February 20, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/importance-of-cultural-and-anthropological-knowledge/.


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IvyPanda. "Importance of Cultural and Anthropological Knowledge." February 20, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/importance-of-cultural-and-anthropological-knowledge/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Importance of Cultural and Anthropological Knowledge." February 20, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/importance-of-cultural-and-anthropological-knowledge/.

References

IvyPanda. (2021) 'Importance of Cultural and Anthropological Knowledge'. 20 February.

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