There’s a special issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society out on the theme of Cultural and linguistic diversity: evolutionary approaches.
From the introduction:
Evolutionary approaches to cultural change are increasingly influential, and many scientists believe that a ‘grand synthesis’ is now in sight. The papers in this Theme Issue, which derives from [...]
In today’s Nature, Peter Richerson and Robert Boyd argue that migration is an engine of social change because the movement of people into societies that offer a better way of life is a more powerful driver of cultural evolution than conflict and conquest (pay-access only, sorry!):
As cultural evolutionists interested in how societies [...]
In today’s Science, Jacobs et al discuss Ages for the Middle Stone Age of Southern Africa: Implications for Human Behavior and Dispersal:
The expansion of modern human populations in Africa 80,000 to 60,000 years ago and their initial exodus out of Africa have been tentatively linked to two phases of technological and behavioral [...]
As part of the 150th anniversary celebrations of a certain Charles Darwin, Radio New Zealand is getting a whole bunch of New Zealand scientists to give public lectures about Darwin’s impact on our place in the world. They’re recording them, broadcasting them over the radio, and you can listen to them on the internet [...]
Funner. Impactful. Blowiest. Territorialism. Multifunctionality. Dialoguey. Dancey. Thrifting. Chillaxing. Anonymized. Interestinger. Wackaloon. Updatelette. Noirish. Huger. Domainless. Delegator. Photocentric. Relationshippy. Bestest. Zoomable.
What do all these words have in common? Someone, somewhere, is using them with a disclaimer like “I know it’s not a real word…“
Anyone who has ever tackled a Shakespeare play knows that English has changed substantially in the 400 years since Elizabeth I ruled England. In fact, Elizabethan English can seem like a completely different language from the one we speak today. [...]
….and the award for the stupidest science story I’ve seen in months goes to LiveScience.com for “Cave Men Loved to Sing“, in which we’re told that our cave-dwelling ancestors used echo-location:
With only dull light available from a torch, which couldn’t be carried into very narrow passages, the ancient hunters had to use their [...]
Paul Ehrlich talks about his recent study of Polynesian canoes, and whether human culture evolves via natural selection:
Biologists have a pretty good idea of both how flies become resistant to DDT and how humans and primates have diverged over time. That’s because the mechanism underlying these processes is the same. Using evolution we [...]
The term evolution in archaeology has accumulated an enormous range of meanings, with different implications, over many years. Traditionally, however, when not referring to the biological evolution of putatively ancestral species, it has occurred most commonly in the phrase cultural evolution (sometimes [...]