Re: Cultural Evolution & History

Bill Benzon (
Wed, 11 Jun 1997 23:33:48 -0500

Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 1997 23:33:48 -0500
From: (Bill Benzon)
Subject: Re: Cultural Evolution & History

Ilfryn Price says:
>Good question Bill. Wearing my ex-geologist hat I have always seen it as
>one of those events when meme's learnt to tap a whole host of new resources
>[fish, Northern European Forests, and Latin American gold seem to be the
>big three. This is the equivalent of, say, plants learning to colonize land
>in the late Devonian.

I tend to agree with the notion of "tapping new resources," though the
particular ones you mention are rather too physical for my taste.

>I also can't help wondering how much contingency there was about the event.

That's a rather deep issue. One can imagine all sorts of things falling
out differently. But which of those differences would affect the overall
course of cultural evolution and which would not? It's a tough issue to
think about (which is why I usually don't).

William L. Benzon 201.217.1010
708 Jersey Ave. Apt. 2A
Jersey City, NJ 07302 USA

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