ungas (raskolanikov) wrote in sociobiology,
ungas
raskolanikov
sociobiology

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development of culture

I find this article very very interesting - but I am not too sure of the validity of the data shown here. Do you think the facts here are accurate and is consistent with what you gather from socibiology somewhere else? And can you pls give me links (or books) that have similar content... links that contain only 'raw factual data' would be much better. Thanks.

oh my gosh this is tooo long...

" The development of culture
A.ramidus was an ape with feet instead of another set of hands. He brought his behavior from the trees. That behavior was then modified because of his feet. The species just before ramidus had hands on both ends since it was before both the ape and the hominid, and the apelike tree dweller was the father of both. Its behavior would be transferred directly to Ramapithicus, the ape that was contemporary with ramidus, since Ramapithicus retained all four hands and did not require behavioral change. ramidus, however, had suffered physical change and was by that compelled to develop new behavior. Primates do not tend to large groups, foraging is much easier if the group is small. Primates do not tend to cooperative defense patterns against predators. The trees are always a quick retreat from danger. Primates do not tend to have groups of males who will rally to the defense of the young and female (an exception is the baboon). ramidus lived on the ground and was a poor climber, even if he happened to be close to a tree. He had no choice but to develop strategies that would allow him to survive. Otherwise, his tribe would have perished. For the same reason, ramidus was forced to develop larger tribes for defense. Still, ramidus did not develop the new cultural patterns. It was evolution by way of instinctive and intellectual changes to ramidus.

So ramidus developed a different culture from that of ramapithicus. That difference was caused by a physical change. The new culture was not a product of intelligence. Ramidus had a small brain. He was almost entirely instinctive. He did not say to himself one day: "You know, I've got to be more protective of my mate and the kids, otherwise my species is in danger of extinction." The new behavior was a product of evolution. New coding on his DNA dictated social change in ramidus. The more pugnacious, protective and cooperative male could raise more children. The more males that stuck together and fought off predators, the more children they collectively had. The male that picked up a stick and used it to drive off a predator became a better protector and could raise more children. New intellectual capacity allowed him to form larger groups and collectively protect the young and female. It was as simple as that, and that is the way a culture is formed.

The ramidus brain lives to this day, buried deep within our own (evolution patches over and adds to, it does not houseclean), and, in fact, handles most of our instinctual chores. It is the part that makes one jump at a loud noise. It causes a mother to love her children. It turns you on when you see cute buns. It further handles the chores of transmitting the things that we reason (the few that are reasoned) to the motor centers that translate thought into action. It acts as a filter, where instinct says to reason on the way through, "Are you sure you want to do this?" If you are working in an objective area, such as with a piece of iron, it cares less what you are up to. Yet let it catch a thought about food, sex, social interaction or survival, and it becomes very interested. This is why we are so good at building airplanes and yet so poor in providing a rational culture in which to live.

Ramidus moved out on the plains and became a herd herbivore. Then came aferensis, followed by africanus. Two million years proves that the ancient hominid and his resulting culture were successful. By then, evolution had given him a modest increase in his brain size to handle the complexities of some needed improvements in his culture (they came after the brain increase and were the result of the increase). When mutations provided a slight increase in brain power (either instinctive or rational) the recipients improved in their ability to handle cultural complexity and were by that able to raise more children. A successful animal tends to increase in population. Increased populations bring competition for food and space. Africanus had learned about basic weapons in defending his tribes from predators. The stage was set for the competition of man with man.

When a group of animals forage, the small group is more efficient than the large. This is caused by the overrun of an already foraged area. If one is behind others foraging, he will come upon a foraged over area and must walk through the others to find a fresh area. If only a dozen are in the foraging party, the walk-through is swift. If a couple of hundred are foraging, the walk through uses up time needed for feeding This is especially critical for herbivores. Herbivores eat low energy food, so they must eat all day. The time lost in walking effects how much food is gathered. While small groups are more efficient in feeding, they are vulnerable to predators. A small child would have little chance with a pack of wild dogs, for example, if his only protectors were his parents. Larger groups can pool their protection resources. A conflict exists between the two requirements (obtaining food and avoiding predation) and different animals use different herd sizes and other strategies.

The strategies adopted by the early hominid were successful. They survived. Their population grew. When a hominid tribe became too large, part of the tribe separated and went to the other end of the valley. The valley now contained two tribes. As long as the valley was big compared with the number in each tribe, there was no problem. Still, both tribes grew, the valley was not big enough for four tribes, and no one knew what was on the other side of the mountain. Each tribe thought the whole valley should belong to them. There was no fraternizing between the tribes. Every time a male stole a woman from another tribe, he brought home the flu or something worse. Strict rules had to be made. The tribe that had to make do with a trickle of water out of a spring was jealous of the neighboring tribe that had a lake. There was always that competition over foraging territory. The tribes became militantly isolated.

Homo habilis came, with a larger brain and a more complex society. He invented the use of fire. He was now able to tenderize some of his food. He could roast roots and tubers. Meat could now be cooked so that he could eat it. He no longer had to wait for a carcass to get half rotten before he could treat himself to some real protein. He could now kill his own and have fresh meat, medium rare, right off the spit.

Homo erectus made the big jump in culture. A confirmed meat eater, he did not need to forage all day. He could eat a couple of pounds off a kill, make a sling out of the skin, throw twenty pounds of his kill over his shoulder, take his family and friends and go traveling. There was no longer any need for tribal confinement. If it became too crowded anywhere, the tribe packed up and went somewhere else. Wherever erectus went, he formed new tribes The cultures of today are the modern versions of these ancient tribes. In search of food and safety, ancient hominid tribes would travel to the next valley and set up shop. Isolated from other hominid tribes, each developed an ever more differing set of behaviors, dress and language. There was little friendship between tribes, mainly because of the competition for the same food source. Tribal isolation also acted as a deterrent to contagious diseases. As each tribe grew, it encroached on the domain of the other. Often there was trouble. Mostly it would be killings in the ground between the two tribes, but friction could easily develop into open warfare, and it often did. Two million years of hominid tribal life preceded the last ten thousand or less in the open structure of the modern world. Ten thousand years ago (an instant in the hominid history), the world wide occupation of all man was hunter-gatherer. That is a tribal occupation. Man is a tribal animal. He is born that way. It will be another million years before it could possibly be bred out of him. A good tribal man thinks that his tribe is the only one. Those other tribes are at the least a nuisance and quite possibly a real danger. Since the people in the other tribe thought in the same way, it was always a powder keg waiting for a match. One does not love that neighboring tribe, especially when food is scarce. It became time to grab a spear and chase them off. If no one wanted to move on, then the tribe with the most members alive after the battle took over the whole territory. It was a matter of survival. Evolution loved it. Evolution reinforced it by selecting on a stronger and stronger coding for tribalism. Very recently in time, as far as evolution goes, the tribes coalesced into countries or major parts of countries, each with its own unique ethnic culture.

Conclusion: Man needs one central worldwide culture with as much commonality as possible.

Multiculturalism is well meaning and compassionate. Both terms are instinctive. Our instincts no longer fit well with our environment. They were constructed during a four million-year period to be tribal in nature. The tribal instinct is to be militant toward all who are not members of your own tribe. Multiculturalism is irrational. Promoting multiculturalism and diversity makes things worse.

To cram a bunch of people into the same city, they must be made to believe that they belong to the same tribe. That is called integration. Integration is a rational solution to this problem with this instinct. That same relationship can be extended to cover the world. This is not a reasoning problem. It is a problem with an instinct (tribalism), one that cannot be solved by using another instinct (compassion). That tribal instinct has been in the inner brain for at least two million years, possibly four. Only evolution can root it out. That will take a bunch of time, like perhaps millions of years. Don't think for a minute that this problem can be solved by teaching reason (tolerance). The tribal instinct was embedded in the brain first, big and strong, long before reason came. " http://onelife.com/psy/culhist.html
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