Two interesting articles on evolution and culture

Human Culture, an Evolutionary Force

By NICHOLAS WADE

Published: March 1, 2010, New York Times

“As with any other species, human populations are shaped by the usual forces of natural selection, like famine, disease or climate. A new force is now coming into focus. It is one with a surprising implication — that for the last 20,000 years or so, people have inadvertently been shaping their own evolution.

The force is human culture, broadly defined as any learned behavior, including technology. The evidence of its activity is the more surprising because culture has long seemed to play just the opposite role. Biologists have seen it as a shield that protects people from the full force of other selective pressures, since clothes and shelter dull the bite of cold and farming helps build surpluses to ride out famine.”

read the rest at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/02/science/02evo.html

Triumph of the Cyborg Composer

David Cope’s software creates beautiful, original music. Why are people so angry about that?

By: Ryan Blitstein | February 22, 2010, Miller-McCune

http://www.miller-mccune.com/culture-society/triumph-of-the-cyborg-composer-8507/

One Response to “Two interesting articles on evolution and culture”

  1. santokh says:

    The original review paper, entitled “How culture shaped the human genome: bringing genetics and the human sciences together” by Laland et al. is published in Nature Reviews (February 2010, Volume 11). A PDF copy of this review article is available at: http://www.nature.com/nrg/journal/v11/n2/pdf/nrg2734.pdf

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