Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id QAA15285 (8.6.9/5.3[ref email@example.com] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from firstname.lastname@example.org); Fri, 8 Jun 2001 16:19:05 +0100 Message-ID: <2D1C159B783DD211808A006008062D3101745EF1@inchna.stir.ac.uk> From: Vincent Campbell <email@example.com> To: "'firstname.lastname@example.org'" <email@example.com> Subject: RE: USA Today - interview with Gugatkin and de Waal on animal cul ture Date: Fri, 8 Jun 2001 15:50:57 +0100 X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2650.21) Content-Type: text/plain X-Filter-Info: UoS MailScan 0.1 [D 1] Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Precedence: bulk Reply-To: email@example.com
Just for my own comprehension (not a challenge), when you say convergent
adaptation, are you talking about things like animals that develop
camouflage (or aggressive) markings that are similar, but haven't emerged
from the same body parts? So, insects have camouflaged caitin (is that
spelt right?), birds have camouflaged feathers, mammals camouflaged fur etc.
I read a piece in New Scientist the other day that was talking about
'personality' in animals- things like being bold (e.g. investigating rather
than shying away from new objects) or shy (e.g. hiding for longer when
threats are introduced). Studies of things like spiders and fish suggest
there are distinct behaviour difference within species, usually related to
differences in environment. So, in one study spiders living in woodland are
more cautious because there's a high risk of predation, whereas as spiders
living in more open ground are braver, as food is scarcer.
I wouldn't want to ring fence culture for humans, as I might once have done
(before joning this list I should add), but I wouldn't want to open the
flood gates either- to mix metaphors. Clearly human culture must have
evolved from earlier ancestral versions in nature, so our culture is simply
different by degree, rather than fundamentally.
Incidentally, I've just ordered these books off Amazon.com on one of my
usual whims, and also 'The Evolution of Culture: An Interdisciplinary View'
edited by R.Dunbar, which looked interesting. No doubt they'll sit on my
shelves for some time before I get around to reading them...
> From: Scott Chase
> Reply To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Sent: Friday, June 8, 2001 2:33 pm
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: Re: USA Today - interview with Gugatkin and de Waal on
> animal culture
> >From: Philip Jonkers <P.A.E.Jonkers@phys.rug.nl>
> >Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> >To: email@example.com
> >Subject: Re: USA Today - interview with Gugatkin and de Waal on animal
> >Date: Fri, 08 Jun 2001 14:50:45 +0200 (CEST)
> >Nice article indeed.
> >It is good though to know that animals do imitate. If imitation
> >would be exclusively human it would have necessarily have to be
> >evolved with a quantum leap out of animal traits which
> >do not support imitation then. This seems highly unlikely
> >since evolution graduates.
> >Darwin rules!
> Part of the fan club I see.
> If imitation or culture (or whatever) might be rooted deeper than many
> conceited humans would care to appreciate within the phylogenetic bush,
> imitation (or culture or whatever) would be quite archetypal, in which
> Richard Owen or Johann Wolfgang von Goethe would rule.
> If rooted deep enough, imitation (or culture or whatever) might be a part
> the body plan, much like a limb or spinal column. I'm skeptical on how
> deeply rooted these things might be. Superficial similarities may arise
> convergent adaption to similar circumstances, not shared parts (homologies
> reflecting unity of type) modified by the conditions of existence into a
> hand or wing.
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