To paraphrase a statement by Eugene Thacker in the opening pages of Biomedia (ISBN 0-8166-4353-9):
I posit that as every organism’s cultural element is an artifact which involves biological intra-/inter-cell expression and/or process, biological and cultural domains are not ontologically distinct, but instead culture inheres in biology.
Culture And Intelligence
(1) Culture is a biological entity. It is an elaboration/extension of the cell’s manipulation beyond its outer membrane. It has been selected for survival of the genome by means of manipulating/adjusting the cell’s outer circumstances, in addition to the cell’s outer membrane which was selected much earlier for controlling the inner cell’s circumstances.
(2) Being a biological entity culture is definitely a general ubiquitous trait of all living systems, all, regardless of size or of the extent of cellularization of the organism, from mono to multi-celled. This is obviously and simply the next complexing evolution level up from celling.
For the genome’s survival, i.e. proliferation, it is required first to control the in-cell living atmosphere, and consequently next to control the out-of-cell circumstances. Elementary.
(3) You see endless phenomena of culture in monocelled communities and in multi-celled organisms (google animals/birds courtings f.e.). You also see a large variety of phenotypic cultures within the culture of each genotype.
(4) The core (wordnet.princeton) definition of “intelligence” is “the ability to comprehend, to understand and profit from experience”. These surviving abilities are different for the different phenotypes within a genotype, therefore each phenotype has its own meaning of “intelligence”.
(5) Intelligence is to culture approximately as essential amino acids are to proteins. Culture evolves in response to circumstances only by use of intelligence and to the extent and scope feasible by the extent and scope of intelligence.
(6) Ergo the branching evolution of humans from other primates per my earlier suggestions.
(7) And if you can reckon what might be the next up level (above genome celling and culture) for further ascertaining survivability of humans, you might guesstimate the future course of human evolution.
I think and suggest,
October 23, 2006, Dov:
To Paul Wren:
1. ‘My culture’ is (wordnet.princeton) “the attitudes and behavior that are characteristic of a particular social group or organization”.
2. Thus in ‘my culture’ social behavior = cultural behavior and each and all behaviors function and serve for the survival of genomes.
3. I do not understand nor suggest “having genes for culture itself”.
To Kambiz Kamrani:
1. I was also taught several things, but I also observe and conclude things I was not taught. One of them is that as every organism’s cultural element is an artifact which involves biological intra-/inter-cell expression and/or process, biological and cultural domains are not ontologically distinct, but instead culture inheres in biology. Even you state that “by nature, humans are cultured organisms’, but I observe ‘my culture’ in ALL organisms.
2. I do not understand what a ‘culture cell’ is. I repeat the fact that culture is displayed in several ways by monocelled communities and by multi-celled organisms.
3. I do not refer to homeostasis as a culture. I simply state the obvious, that celling of the cooperative commune of genes was a major junction in evolution, the control of in-cell variables.
4. When you state “I believe some multicellular organisms exhibit signs of culture, but not to the degree that we do” you are using two different definitions of culture in one sentence.
5. You are coming my way when you state that “On a behavioral ecological level, the varying degrees of culture are forms of social adaptation to cope and survive in a biological environment”.
6. I do indeed suggest that intelligence parameters are “the building blocks of culture.
7. When you state “other primates aren’t as intelligent as humans?” you again use two different definitions of intelligence in one sentence.
8. “Genome celling” is the evolutionary process involved in the formation of the early cell(s) by enclosing genes in internally environmentally-controlled ‘spaceships’.
9. I do not suggest that “culture… (can be used) to predict future evolution”. I do suggest that presently we comprehend the up-to-now two major junctions of Earth-life evolution, celling, and culture. If we can guesstimate what another capability in addition to culture might enhance human survivability it might be tantamount to foreseeing future human evolution, to reading tomorrow’s newspaper headlines.
10. I do not “imply that there is a culture gene”. I cite data that shows that “genes expressed in the brain have changed more on the human lineage than on the chimpanzee lineage, not only in terms of gene expression but also in terms of amino acid sequences”.
PS 3 Nov 2006
Elephants see themselves in the mirror
From 30 October 2006 NewScientist.com news service
by Peter Aldhous
Happy the elephant with an X-shaped mark on her head in chalk.
They can recognize themselves in a mirror, passing a test of self-awareness that is failed even by the majority of our primate relatives.
Until recently, this ability was thought to be the exclusive preserve of humans and great apes. Then, in 2001, Diana Reiss at Columbia University in New York, US, showed that dolphins tended to position themselves to view a mark on their bodies that would not otherwise be visible, showing that they too could recognize their own reflections.
Like humans and apes, dolphins are highly social animals with large brains and seem to show empathy towards one another. So Reiss turned her attention to another large-brained and apparently empathetic species – the Asian elephant.
Teaming up with Frans de Waal and Joshua Plotnik of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, US, Reiss presented three elephants at the Bronx Zoo in New York City with a mirror. They began inspecting themselves with their trunks while staring at their reflections. One elephant, called Happy, also repeatedly touched a mark painted onto its head, as this video demonstrates, where the camera is behind one of the mirrors (2.6MB, MOV format).
A previous attempt to investigate self-recognition failed, apparently because the mirrors used were too small. “Elephants don’t have the best eyesight,” de Waal says. “It’s important that the mirror is the size of an elephant and is accessible.”
Journal reference: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
01-15-2007, in Hypo forum.
Biology Of Human Intercultural Relationships
I posit that the relationship between the various human cultures follows the patterns and processes of the relationship between indigenous, alien and invasive life, plants and animals etc.,
And I suggest that for a realistically practical approach to dealing with human intercultural problems, including intercultural terrorism, it is essential and helpful to be familiar with the subject matter of the relationship between indigenous, alien and invasive life, plants and animals etc..
My this suggestion follows from the observation that culture is a trait of
ALL life forms and that human culture is an elaboration of the ubiquitous life’s culture, as all human traits and capabilities are elaborations of heritage from our predecessors all the way back to the first genes in Earth’s biosphere.
InfiniteNow: Please elaborate…about…the key characteristic patterns and processes of the relationships…
Dov: An example of plants world scenario http://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/bkgd.htm
APWG: Background Information,
and a brief look into some human intercultural Immigration scenarios
I suggest that most aspects of relationships between local life (plants, fauna etc.,) and “newly” introduced foreign life must be similar to relationships between local human population and “newly” arrived immigrant communities, and I suggest why such similarity may be expected.
Larv: So you are advocating E.O.Wilson’s “sociobiology”? I’m not clear enough about what you are saying to agree or disagree with you.
Dov: I confess my ignorance. Not familiar with E.O.Wilson’s works and with the term
Larv: In a nutshell, Wilson’s “sociobiology” compares humans to ants and other social critters in order to explain our innate behaviors. Genes, of course, link us all together, so the real question is how tightly that linkage actually is. Wilson sides with Williams, Hamilton, and Dawkins on the genetic causes of behavior. Maybe a few older ones here can remember all the trouble Wilson and Hamilton stirred at Harvard and Michigan in the 1970s over whether or not human behavior can (or should) be compared to that of “lower forms of life.” (What a revolting idea that is!)
Dov: Thank you for filling this gap in my study files.
If you haven’t yet glanced at it, please take a look at
It is short and clear, I think, and explains our innate behaviors.
Of course, rationally and scientifically all our traits are a heritage from all our predecessors in the course of evolution. We are indeed one of nature’s “lower forms of life” that evolved in Earth’s biosphere, which is one version of the cosmic evolution phenomena of formation of temporary constraints packages of ever diluting cosmic energy.
The extent of our difference from our chimp/bonobo is due to the radical change of our mode and environments of life (forest to plains) and the high esteem in which we regard ourselves is both a human religious artifact (circa 100,000 yrs old) and an evolved tool for ever more effective survivability.