Re: USA Today - interview with Gugatkin and de Waal on animal culture

From: Ray Recchia (
Date: Fri Jun 08 2001 - 23:29:15 BST

  • Next message: Wade T.Smith: "Fwd: Bio-X and Interdisciplinary Research"

    Received: by id XAA15932 (8.6.9/5.3[ref] for from; Fri, 8 Jun 2001 23:28:05 +0100
    X-Sender: (Unverified)
    X-Mailer: Windows Eudora Light Version 1.5.2
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
    From: Ray Recchia <>
    Subject: Re: USA Today - interview with Gugatkin and de Waal on animal culture
    Date: Fri, 8 Jun 2001 18:29:15 -0400
    Message-ID: <>
    Precedence: bulk

    At 11:02 AM 6/8/2001 -0400, you wrote:
    >>From: "Scott Chase" <>
    >>Subject: Re: USA Today - interview with Gugatkin and de Waal on animal
    >>Date: Fri, 08 Jun 2001 10:23:21 -0400
    >>>From: "Wade T.Smith" <>
    >>>To: "memetics list" <>
    >>>Subject: Re: USA Today - interview with Gugatkin and de Waal on animal
    >>>Date: Fri, 8 Jun 2001 09:37:05 -0400
    >>>On 06/08/01 09:12, Scott Chase said this-
    >>> >The big problem would not be
    >>> >in using the word "culture", but employing this term in a way that
    >>> >anthropocentrically places humans within a charmed circle, removed from
    >>> >"lowly" animals.
    >>>Granted, but, that anthropocentricity is where the meaning of 'culture'
    >>>_came_ from, not the realms of behaviorism or biology. (Well, 'culture'
    >>>in biology means something quite different, although, yeah, the
    >>>Backstreet Boys and MTV are sorts of germs, in their own way....)
    >>Well, I'm grappling with this word "culture" and trying to see it in
    >>different lights, thinking WAY outside the box and trying to clip the
    >>pro-human biased roots. I could forgive you for mentioning behaviorism,
    >>I could have done without another exposure to the "Backstreet Boys" virus
    >>this early in the morning.
    >>>Culture can easily become 'artistic behavior', 'social behavior', 'tribal
    >>>behavior', etc, with no harm to its roots, its expression, or its
    >>Maybe sticking with the baseline of "non-genetic behavioral transmission"
    >>would be the better option and then working from there one might consider
    >>all the possible variations on this theme, "memes" included.
    >>Culture does have some deep seated human connotations when applied to
    >>I dunno. I'll see what develops on this thread and go from there.
    >>>Shouldn't we leave culture in its petri dish?
    >>Well there's a difference between microbial populations living in cultural
    >>media (maybe we should leave media to the microbiologists too?...sorry
    >>Vincent) and the phenomenon of "non-genetic behavioral transmission" or the
    >>more typical charmed circle of "accumulated knowledge, customs, beliefs,
    >>arts, and other human products that are socially transmitted over the
    >>generations" (from page 756 of the Campbell, Mitchell, and Reece's
    >>Concepts & Connections_. 1997. Addison Wesley Longman, Inc. New York). This
    >>comes from an introductory biology text.
    >My microbiology text (Brock, Madigan, Martinko, and Parker's _Biology of
    >Microorganisms_. 1994. Prentice Hall. Englewood Cliffs, NJ) defines culture
    >in terms of a strain in a medium where the microbial population in a medium
    >definition I used above comes from Tammy S Race Mc Cormick's _The Essentials
    >of Microbiology_ (1995. Research and Education Association. Piscataway, NJ).
    >Both books cast media in terms of nutrient solution or broth.
    >I wonder how media studies defines "media".

    In 'The Imitation Factor' Dugatkin cites to a paper which found 164
    different definitions of culture. A.L. Kroeber and C. Kluckhohn, "Culture,
    a critical review of the concepts and definitions", American Archeology and
    Ethnology 47:1-223 (1952)

    This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
    For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Fri Jun 08 2001 - 23:31:55 BST