Chapter 2.a

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January 6, 2010 — Riccardo Sabellotti - Giacinto Sabellotti

CULTURAL EVOLUTION

Let’s reflect together; if we think of the times when we were at school, we’ll remember that history books were a succession of wars and sovereigns, but also customs, beliefs and technical progress, scientific and economic interests.
The existence of biological evolution and the discovery of the mechanisms that regulate it were discovered very recently; cultural evolution instead is known to historians from many centuries. The phenomenon of cultural evolution has also strongly manifested to everybody during the twentieth century: throughout their lives, the latest generations have been able to observe significant cultural changes like, just to mention a few of them, dissemination of public  education and the consequent decline of illiteracy, the advent of democracies at the expense of monarchies and dictatorships, the emancipation of women and universal suffrage, the diffusion of radio, cars, television, computers and mobile phones.
Each of us is aware of cultural evolution, but it is not also known that it follows laws similar to those of biological evolution. For understanding how the development of culture has happened as an integration of genetic heritage, and therefore that cultural evolution too is subject to natural selection, it is good to analyze in depth the similarities between the physical and cultural characteristics.

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