The Evolution of Culture

What science is, I think, may be something like this: There was on this planet an evolution of life to the stage that there were evolved animals, which are intelligent. I don't mean just human beings, but animals which play and which can learn something from experience (like cats). But at this stage each animal would have to learn from its own experience. They gradually develop, until some animal coudl learn from experience by watching, or one could show the other, or he saw what the other one did. So there came a possiblity that all might learn it, but the transmission was inefficient and they would die, and maybe the one who learned it died, too, before he could pass it on to others.

The question is, is it possible to learn more rapidly what somebody learned from some accident than the rate at which the thing is being forgotten, either because of bad memory or because of death of the learner or invention?

So there came a time, perhaps, when for some species the rate at which learning was increased reached such a pitch that suddenly a completely new thing happened; things could be learned by one animal, passed on to another, and another, fast enough that it was not lost to the race. Thus became possible and accumulation of knowledge of the race.

This has been called time-binding. I don't know who first called it this. At any rate, we have here some sample of those animals, sitting here trying to bind one experience to another, each one trying to learn from the other.


Although Feynman calls it "time-binding," this sounds very much like memetics.

Folksonomies: science memetics culture

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Feynman:Person (0.752333 (neutral:0.000000)), memetics.:Company (0.593719 (positive:0.428573))

Learning (0.960635): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Knowledge (0.855701): dbpedia | freebase
Intelligence (0.839804): dbpedia | freebase
Developmental psychology (0.831939): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Play (0.768598): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Psychology (0.682809): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Evolution (0.669662): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
English-language films (0.622185): dbpedia

 What Is Science?
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book Chapter:  Feynman, Richard (1969), What Is Science?, The Physics Teacher, Vol 9, pp 313-320, American Association of Physics Teachers, Retrieved on 2010-11-13


03 JAN 2011

 Culture as an Evolutionary Strategy, It's Danger, and Sci...

The Evolution of Culture > Cause and Effect > The Danger of Culture and Science as the Solution
Before the study of Memetics, Feynman provides a succinct description of culture as memes, and then later, he describes the danger of culture, erroneous memes, the cure for which is science.