Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id RAA15459 (8.6.9/5.3[ref firstname.lastname@example.org] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from email@example.com); Fri, 8 Jun 2001 17:38:01 +0100 X-Originating-IP: [188.8.131.52] From: "Scott Chase" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com Subject: RE: USA Today - interview with Gugatkin and de Waal on animal cul ture Date: Fri, 08 Jun 2001 12:33:24 -0400 Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed Message-ID: <F124UtYj7XGeFaatao8000048a3@hotmail.com> X-OriginalArrivalTime: 08 Jun 2001 16:33:24.0737 (UTC) FILETIME=[BD135710:01C0F038] Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Precedence: bulk Reply-To: email@example.com
>From: Vincent Campbell <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>To: "'email@example.com'" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Subject: RE: USA Today - interview with Gugatkin and de Waal on animal cul
>Date: Fri, 8 Jun 2001 15:50:57 +0100
>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
Chitin I think.
>birds have camouflaged feathers, mammals camouflaged fur etc.
The typical examples of convergence are shape streamlining in swimming
animals such as sharks and dolphins, webbed feet such as in the swimmers
frogs and ducks, and the wings of flying insects, bats and birds (though the
elements within the wing of bats and birds stem from common ancestry and are
themselves homologous) allowing the adaption to an airborne lifestyle.
I've picked these from Eli Minkoff's _Evolutionary Biology_ (1983.
Addison-Wesley Publishing Company. Reading Massachusetts) and George Kent
and Larry Miller's _Comparative Anatomy of the Vertebrates_ (1997. Wm. C.
Brown Publishers. Dubuue, IA).
>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
>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.
Well it would be safer to consider culture and its antecedents within the
primates or especially chimps (including humans?). When looking at further
removed groups or species, the term might not apply. I'm still pondering the
homology/analogy issue here. Even comparing humans and chimps (or even
macaques), I wonder at what level the behaviors stem from homology and/or
analogy. If culture is an epigenetic phenomenon (having a genetic foundation
yet open to major non-genic variation) there might be deep seated
phylogenetic connections between humans and chimps, but when looking at
specific examples such as tool use, maybe there's a degree of convergence.
This may be akin to comparing the wings of birds and bats. The aspects
allowing for flight are convergent analogies, but the structure still stems
from deeper underlying elements, homologous via common ancestry and
developed from the same embryonic limb bud. Some elements of culture (if
applicable to chimps) may have homologous roots, yet similar behavior
patterns themselves may have an analogous historical basis.
>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...
I've ordered _Darwinizing Culture_ by Aunger and _Dawkins versus Gould_ by
Sterelny. Have you read Gould's discussion of "cultural evolution" in _Full
I'm also letting myself get bombarded by the anthropocentric meanderings of
omega man and Jesuit paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, which has
been occupying much of my time lately. Peter Russell's _The Global Brain
Awakens_ is another one I've been looking at (armed with Gould's _Wonderful
Life_ and _Full House_ arguments as an antidote to Teilhard and Russell).
Wasn't Teilhard involved in both the Piltdown "discovery" and Peking Man?
Gould has an essay on Piltdown which makes me a little uneasy about
Teilhard, though his neologisms such as noosphere are kinda kewl.
> > ----------
> > From: Scott Chase
> > Reply To: email@example.com
> > Sent: Friday, June 8, 2001 2:33 pm
> > To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> > 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: email@example.com
> > >To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> > >Subject: Re: USA Today - interview with Gugatkin and de Waal on animal
> > >culture
> > >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,
> > then
> > imitation (or culture or whatever) would be quite archetypal, in which
> > case
> > Richard Owen or Johann Wolfgang von Goethe would rule.
> > If rooted deep enough, imitation (or culture or whatever) might be a
> > of
> > 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
> > from
> > convergent adaption to similar circumstances, not shared parts
> > reflecting unity of type) modified by the conditions of existence into a
> > hand or wing.
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