What Is Western Culture + Define Culture
Culture, A Ubiquitous Biological Entity
1. General comprehension of evolutionary biology is an essential pre-requisite to the study and comprehension of cultural anthropology.
2. Culture is a basic biological entity. It is the ubiquitous elaboration- an extension of the sensing of and reactions to, by the genome, to the goings-on beyond the outermost membrane of its housing, the cell, and of multicelled organisms, to the totality of their outer and inner environments.
Culture has been selected for survival of the genome as means of extending its exploitation capabilities of the out-of-cell circumstances, consequent to the earlier evolution and selection of the genome’s organ, its outermost cell membrane (OCM), for control of the in-cell state of the environment.
3. Every cultural element is an organism’s artifact that involves biological intra-/inter-cell expression and/or process. Biological and cultural domains are not ontologically distinct. Culture inheres in biology.
4. Culture And Intelligence
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”.
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.
5. In human cultures ethnocentrisms are phenotypic cases of anthropocentrism; biologically both are normal Darwinian biological survival phenomena. Ethnocultures are human phenotypic survival tools.
6. Life is a phenomenon of temporary energy constraint. It pops in out of its matrix, the energy constrained in Earth’s biosphere by Earth’s organisms, which are the many varieties of genomes, the communal interdependent life forms of the primal, once-independent, genes, the formers and conservers of life’s energy on Earth.
7. Culture is the universal driver of genetic evolution
The major course of natural selection is not via random mutations followed by survival, but via interdependent, interactive and interenhencing selection of biased genes replication routes at their alternative-splicing-steps junctions, affected by the cultural feedback of the second stratum multi cells organism or mono-cells community to their prime stratum genes-genome organisms.
8. Science is a human cultural artifact, a tool of human survival
During the recent several centuries in the course of human history Science has been evolving at an accelerating rate as a provider of convincing, ever closer approaching, approximate models of the real world. We understand that Science is one of the components of our Culture, the totality of our capabilities to observe the environment, react to it and exploit it for our satisfaction and survival. There is a distinct, even if still small, growing spreading tendency to accept the findings of evolving Science with ever increasing respect and appreciation, especially in the realms of all forms and types of its progenies – technology and life disciplines.
9. The crucial 21st-century question facing humanity is how much further and into which additional disciplines may or should Science be welcome and adopted by society at large, with what hopes and with what expectations.
Which doctrine(s) may or should be welcome and adopted, with what plans or hopes and with what expectations?
Life is a temporary affair. It is temporary on all scales at all levels.
Life’s purpose is ours to decide and ours to fulfill. The arguments about life’s doctrines should ensue from our choices of life’s purpose.
4/04/2007 (in PhysOrg forum)
Culture is a basic biological entity. It is an elaboration/extension of the cell’s activity beyond its outer membrane and of multicelled organisms’ behavior. It has been selected for survival as means of extending the manipulating capabilities by the cell of its outer circumstances, consequent to the earlier cell’s outer membrane selection for controlling the basic (inner cell’s) genes commune environmental circumstances.
Every 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.
In the case of human cultures: ethnocentrisms are phenotypic cases of anthropocentrism, biologically speaking both are normal Darwinian biological survival phenomena, thus ethnocultures are human phenotypic survival tools.
Kaneda: (You make a statement. DH)How can one debate a statement?
Dov: The Earth is flat. The sun rises over the earth in the morning and drops off it in the evening.
kaneda: Debate on: 1. The Earth is round. 2. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west.
Dov: Friend, you’re right re 1, but re 2 you are pre-Copernicus and Galileo… the force of habit…
When I became involved in an anthropology forum I was shocked to learn of the ambiguity of comprehension of “what culture is” displayed not only by professional anthropologists but also by professional biologists and by the several dictionaries I consulted. I have a feeling that for culture-as-biology formal academic science is still in pre-Copernicus and Galileo time…
September 6, 2006, Anthropology forum
Defining Culture, General And Phenotypic
In a posting (2006-07-22) about the F’ndmntl Islam vs Western culture clash I suggested a definition of “Western Culture” thus:
“Western culture” is the ongoing dynamically evolving science-informed culture, initiated in Western Europe, tinted with a variety of regional/national/ethnic/religious aspects. Its essential characteristic is a continuous flexible adaptation to ever evolving science-informed findings-comprehensions, with various degrees and modes of concurrent dismissal or modification of traditional supernatural cultural phenotypic aspects”.
I suggested the above after getting on the screen the following two inadequate definitions:
(1) The modern culture of western Europe and North America; “when Ghandi was asked what he thought of Western civilization he said he thought it would be a good idea” (http://wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn)
(2)Western Culture refers to the culture that has developed in the Western world. This culture is arguably the dominant cultural form in the modern world; it can also be said that elements of this culture have come to play a more influential role on more diverse cultures world-wide than any other culture has done. It is, however, an ill-defined and disputed term, and “Western Culture” has arguably undergone significant changes over the centuries. …(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_culture)
I suggest that in view of the frequent reference to and usage of this term, in domestic and often in troubled international circumstances, we apply some efforts to improve its definition.
September 8, 2006
You remark that “There are limits to defining western culture, when culture itself is ambiguous”.
For me as a much more amateur biologist than a sub-amateur anthropologist (in all things I’m amateur) culture is definitely not an ambiguous term and consequently the term Western culture is definitely clear:
Firstly, I suggest that ethnocentrism is a phenotypic case of anthropocentrism. Biologically speaking both are normal Darwinian biological survival phenomena.
Every 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.
I refer you to http://blog.360.yahoo.com/blog-P81pQcU1dLBbHgtjQjxG_Q–?cq=1&p=207
for an explanation of the above and thus for definition of the term culture and explanation of its role and of its functional mechanism. I beg to suggest that there is definitely no ambiguity whatsoever in the explanation and definition. If there is any ambiguity re this it is to be found ONLY at the editors’ desks of some “scientific” periodicals …
Consequent to my (amateurish…) clarification of the general term culture I suggest that my recent definition of Western culture is also correct and clear.
Finally, whereas Culture in general is biologically a genotypic matter, Western or Chinese etc., cultures are broad phenotypic human entities, each of which may be further subdivided within its type.
I (amateurishly) think…
September 8, 2006
I apologize for writing that you apparently did not look at the reference I provided.
Consequently now I honestly doubly do not understand how you did not see there the definition and exlanation of “culture”.
The “pertinence of a definition to …task…” reminds me of the once dinner service on Israel El-Al flight:
“Would you like dinner?” the flight attendant asked the passenger.
“What are my choices?” asked the passenger.
“Yes or no,” she replied.
Fact: phenotypic cultures do exist, tinted with a variety of group-unique aspects.
Fact: I happened to contrast Western with Fndmntl-Islamic cultures on the basis of the extent-degree of adherence to either supernatural or to science-informed worldviews. What is wrong or ambiguous with this?
My observation-theory explains how/in-what humans split off the chimp-bonobo and consequently how/in-what humans differ from other animals. I am not interested in “how others have defined and applied various concepts of culture”. I state what I observe. I also do not worry if I “end up reinventing the wheel” since I assume that ALL thoughts/observations are born by several or many other persons in the world at sometime; so what? At my age I reckon I’m anyway about to get off the stage soon, with the energy stored in me returning to the grand energy pool of the universe…
The Tie, Paradigm Of Evolution And Inertia Of Human Habit, Conservatism.
October 19, 2006, Anthropology Forum. Dov.
Would be interesting to share thoughts and attitudes re the subject, to learn-survey thoughts-attitudes re this recent sample of an evolution process, of human conservatism, by considering the relevant case-of-the-tie paradigm.
October 19, 2006, Kambiz.
Wow, welcome back Dov… but can we have some clarification? I’m completely lost on what you’re talking about.
October 20, 2006, Dov.
I confess: I was indeed jolted away from the forum several weeks ago by the surprisingly unbelievabe (to me…) discovery, in relation to a posting on ‘western culture, and culture’, that the forum membership apparently accepted agreeably your statement that ” there are limits to defining western culture, when culture itself is ambiguous”.
With sincere appreciation and respect to you and to the forum membership, both personally and professionaly, it shocked me to find out that A Forum of Anthropologists concurs with this statement, when anthropolgy is defined ” the science of human beings; especially : the study of human beings and their ancestors through time and space and in relation to physical character, environmental and social relations, and culture”. For me, an amateur biologist-evolutionist, both ‘culture’ and ‘western culture’ are clear biological terms of obvious essentiality, thus useful scientific tools of scientific investigation and assessments. It was amazing and disappointing to find that ‘culture’ is ambiguous to some anthropologists.
Now re this present posting title, again with sincere respect I am surprised that (cultural?) anthropoligst(s) might need clarification of the relationship between The Tie and Human Habits and Conservatism.
Or maybe an hesitant call for clarification of the above relationship is a beginning of the analysis and explanation of the relationship…
With sincere best regards,
October 20, 2006, Dov.
1. tpq: Yes, Tie as in Cravat.
* I added the New Scientist note just to remind us of the obvious matter that conservatism affects us all.
* The Tie is functionally useless.
* It has originated as a vanity-folly of few persons and evolved into a widely spread habit.
* The habit was developed with economic and with vain social interests.
* The evolved habit has turned into a socially-mandated-convention, followed by formal government and social dictation.
* I think that this process is an example of evolution of a human cultural trait, of conservatism…
* I admit that the “unusual I think” is an allusion to me. I confess my guilt.
* The link I add is simply… in (2) above…
* I think, again I think, that there is no ambiguity at all in regards to what culture is regardless of who is cited to the contrary.
* I can say with certainty that human culture, every type and aspect of it, is definitely a biological entity, an extension and elaboration of our biological processes, functioning for the same ends and also expressed in our genetic system, see this url
* And I sincerely apologize if I missed some other points in your post that due to my simple-mindedness I have failed to understand.
October 21, 2006, Dov.
You list several things that you “get from” my link, things that are definitely not written there but are apparently your interpretations o
r connotations. To set the discussion stage properly I list here plainly and clearly some of the things listed there. I am not as gifted as you are with verbiage, and I unfortunately have hardly an hour per day for forums matters so here it is, tersely:
* Culture is a biological entity. It is an elaboration/extension of the cell’s outer membrane. It has been selected for survival as means of manipulating/adjusting the cell’s outer circumstances, in addition to the cell’s outer membrane selected earlier for controlling the inner cell’s circumstances.
* I do not “offer” that there are more active genes in the human Y chromosome than in the chimp’s. This is a fact. I suggest that the Y data indicates that since Human departed from chimp the chimp’s Y continued to physiologically adapt whereas the human’s Y indicates either a cessation or very slowed rate of physiological adaptation for survival.
* And I suggest that it is the chimp-human variations of genes expressions in the brain that indicate culture to be a biological entity.
* Being a biological entity culture is definitely a general ubiquitous trait of all living systems, all, regardless of size or of extent of cellularization of the organism, from mono to multi-celled. This is simply the up level of complexing evolution next to celling. You see endless samples of this in multi-celled organisms (google animals/birds courtings f.e.), and also in mono-celled communities.
* I do not understand your interpretations and speculations of genetics’ mechanism.
* THE TIE is a required/mandated item at various government or social circumstances, hence its status as one of conservatives’ icons.