Cultural Phylogenetics: Concepts and Applications in by Larissa Mendoza Straffon

By Larissa Mendoza Straffon

This booklet explores the capability and demanding situations of imposing evolutionary phylogenetic equipment in archaeological examine, by way of discussing key innovations and offering concrete purposes of those approaches.

The quantity is split into elements: the 1st covers the theoretical and conceptual implications of utilizing evolution-based types within the sociocultural area, illustrates the kinds of questions that those equipment can assist solution, and invitations the reader to mirror at the possibilities and barriers of those views. the second one half contains case reports that deal with suitable empirical matters, comparable to inferring styles and charges of cultural transmission, detecting selective pressures in cultural evolution, and explaining the character of cultural variation.

This publication will attract archaeologists attracted to using evolutionary pondering and inferential tips on how to their box, and to somebody attracted to cultural evolution studies.

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Diese mißratenen Söhne sind das Walachische in der romanischen, das Bulgarische in der slavischen und das Albanische in der griechischen Familie. ” (Schleicher 1850, p. 143) 32 F. Kressing and M. Krischel “mixed offspring” became a common sight in all colonies. Thus, the proponents of endogamy had always been aware of human consanguinity. When, in the course of the nineteenth century, “races” tended to be increasingly associated with certain language families, the notion that the speakers of IndoEuropean languages originated from an ancestral race that was defined by geographic, cultural, biometric, and linguistic similarity was propagated by authors like Schlegel (1808), Pictet (1859–1863), Gobineau (1853–1855), Le Bon (1894), and Vacher de Lapouge (1899).

The discourse on degeneration by admixture of both “races” and languages presumes an acceptance of the possibility of lateral transfer. This is illustrated by the fact that fear of degeneration was a topic of concern in both racial theory and linguistics. Some evolutionary theories, especially those of social evolution, were progressive and assumed that later forms would be more perfect than earlier ones. Spencer’s universal evolutionary theory is an example for this view of the evolutionary process.

One might even imagine a scenario in which vertical transmission is completely replaced by oblique transmission (and even the terms themselves become questionable), like an orphan who grows up in a foster family and acquires language from his foster parents. Another factor that makes increasingly neo-Darwinian models of cultural evolution problematic is the heritability of acquired characteristics, which is not part of the neo-Darwinian paradigm, while it is of great importance in cultural transmission and we would expect that once a person has learned a skill, she/he will be able to teach it to others.

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