Re: Christianity Redux?

From: Bill Spight (
Date: Tue 26 Apr 2005 - 17:26:37 GMT

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    Dear Kate and Chris,


    >> I'd suggest that the persistence of many cultural thingies in the
    >> US is as a result of the slower pace of cultural evolution for the
    >> exact same reasons that genetic evolution occurs more slowly (on
    >> average) in large interbreeding populations. Inertia essentially;
    >> cf. the persistence of words like 'gotten', which have died out in
    >> British English -- a much smaller population in which stochastic
    >> effects are more pronounced and change more straightforward.


    > This is a really interesting explanation for this sort of example.
    > Does it hold beyond particular words like "gotten"? I know there are
    > lots more like this, which we in the UK think of as US imports but
    > actually originated over here. But is this a principle that can be
    > extended over "bigger" meme pools like the US?

    I think that maybe this is an example of the general tendency of emigrant culture to change less than the parent culture. From what I hear the English dialect that is the closest to Elizabethan English is spoken in the hills of Tennessee, which are still pretty isolated.



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