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Culture and life

March 5, 2006

Dec 24, 2001                 Dov, in biologicalEvolution forum .

Re " How we came to be human", Ian Tattersall, Scientific American, Dec 2001, p.42.

Reading this article, and noting that it is excerpted from Tattersall's book " The Monkey in the Mirror", evoked in me an old distaste and impatience with verbiage. I imagine that every language has a saying that sometimes life and death hang on word(s), and I think that likewise some scientific matters are clear or fuzzy, be they stated with concise brevity or presented with verbiage.

Browsing through the article I was disappointed to find that the author sees and deals only with the "small change" of Culture and misses completely the basic major point. He picks and examines various cultural details and attempts to assess the weight and contribution of each of them to his concept of human evolution. Born and living in the forest he examines and assesses the contribution of each tree to his niche in the forest. But he loses sight of the base matter, of the totality of the forest, i.e. that the initiation and evolution of Culture is as significant and consequential in the evolution of Life as the initiation and development of Cell has been, and that the evolution of both proceed most probably in like manner and with like processes both being parts of the grand fractal affair that we call Life.

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