10-20_CultureIsAdaptation_1_-_6

10-20_CultureIsAdaptation_1_-_6 - Culture is an Adaptation...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
10/7/2011 1 Culture is an Adaptation Why study adaptations Culture is derived Why culture is adaptive How (possibly) culture evolved Two more forces of cultural evolution Culture is an Adaptation Why study adaptations Culture is derived Why culture is adaptive How (possibly) culture evolved Two more forces of cultural evolution Complex, improbable features created by natural selection. Complex biological features could not arise by chance. Only created by natural selection Adaptationist thinking: Observe complex feature Search for selective function Adaptationist thinking generates useful hypotheses Problem: Conventional aerodynamics suggests insects can’t fly Solution: Ask how to design a flying insect Model high angle of attack flight Leading edge vortex generates lift Leads to predictions about other features of insect flight Test predictions Eureka! Not enough wing area. Angle of attack too high Flies can’t fly Adaptationist thinking is controversial Gould and Lewontin: biologists rely on adaptationist thinking far too much Complex features often arise as byproducts Biologists find adaptive explanation Then don’t go further Ignore non-adaptive explanations Stephen Jay Gould Richard Lewontin Adaptationist thinking is controversial Gould and Lewontin: biologists rely on adaptationist thinking far too much Complex features often arise as byproducts Biologists find adaptive explanation Then don’t go further Ignore non-adaptive explanations Like the “spandrels of San Marco” Design with a dome held up by arches generates triangular spaces as a side effect In Duomo San Marco these are filled with beautiful mosaics L&G say: adaptationists would incorrectly explain existence of “spandrels” as place to put designs
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
10/7/2011 2 A famous, but unconvincing paper Terminology: Triangular spaces actually called “pendentives” not spandrels Argument would be convincing if: Nonadaptive outcomes were more common than adaptive ones, and… Adaptive arguments were hard to test Neither is true Much evidence suggests adaptive outcomes are common Much easier to test than nonadaptive stories Spandrels
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

Page1 / 6

10-20_CultureIsAdaptation_1_-_6 - Culture is an Adaptation...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online