Darwin-L Message Log 1:224 (September 1993)

Academic Discussion on the History and Theory of the Historical Sciences

This is one message from the Archives of Darwin-L (1993–1997), a professional discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.

Note: Additional publications on evolution and the historical sciences by the Darwin-L list owner are available on SSRN.

<1:224>From idavidso@metz.une.edu.au  Mon Sep 27 17:14:52 1993

Date: Tue, 28 Sep 1993 08:18:20 +0700
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: idavidso@metz.une.edu.au (Iain Davidson)
Subject: Re: Heritability and cultural evolution

The history stuff seems fine, but am I getting it wrong?  The fact that
there was significant development of theory of evolution before a complete
(?) understanding of the mechanisms of heredity suggests strongly that it
is very valuable to develop theory of cultural selection (I think Rindos is
basically right here)  even if we cannot yet specify precisely how the
inheritance of cultural phenomena works.  Once we have a convincing theory
of cultural selection then we can begin looking at how the mechanisms may
be working.  But an awful lot of people are not getting that close to it,
partly because they do not understand the importance of variation and
selection in cultural matters.

Iain Davidson
Archaeology and Palaeoanthropology
University of New England
Armidale NSW 2351
Tel (067) 732 441
Fax  (International) +61 67 73 25 26
      (Domestic)   067 73 25 26

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