2009/02/18

Evolution of human culture

As a part of the celebration for Darwin's Day, our department invited Daniel Dennett to give three talks at UA this week. I attended the first two, "The Evolution of Reasons" and "The Evolution of Words and Other Memes". Both are excellent talks and I really like the second one. The parallel between evolutionary biology and human culture/technology is really thought provoking. My favorite example is the analogy of languages as virtual machines that allow us to "digitize" and faithfully replicate memes.

All these reminded me of my first reading of The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins back in high school, which may be a key reason of why I ended up as who I am today.
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