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Genetic Evolution vs. Cultural Evolution
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Genetic Evolution vs. Cultural Evolution

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  1. Genetic Evolution vs. Cultural Evolution Christopher Lynch

  2. Introduction • Since the time of civilization, amongst humans, culture has been an ever evolving factor • The same can be said for genetics as well • In this presentation, genetic evolution will be compared and contrasted with cultural evolution • Cultural and genetic evolution will also be observed and discussed amongst other fellow mammals that inhabit this great planet

  3. What are we talking about? • Before we can begin to analyze the differences and similarities between genetic and cultural evolution, we must first understand what exactly the two are • Genetic Evolution refers to the change in gene frequency, which is the frequency of alleles in a breeding population from generation to generation • Cultural Evolution refers to the significance of cultural inheritance and the various ways of learning from others within a population

  4. How do these factors relate to one another? • Evidence of Genetic Evolution can be observed when analyzing the genetic changes a population expresses over many generations • Genetic evolution is not something that can be seen overnight, atleast not amongst mammals • Information is passed from one individual to another through procreation and thus is a much longer process

  5. How do these factors relate to one another? • Cultural evolution is a factor that can be seen occurring at a much faster rate • Passing along information from one individual to another, through “word of mouth” • Evolution of culture can occur multiple times in a day

  6. How do these factors relate to one another? • The commonality amongst these two factors, is that information is being passed from one individual to another within a given population • The rates at which results can be observed are drastically different, yet the concept of information exchange is exactly the same • We will now further investigate the ways in which these two factors have evolved or changed over time…

  7. Genetic Evolution • To further this evidence of genetic evolution, we can take a look at another mammal, the dolphin • Dolphins, whose ancestors were once land dwelling mammals, have evolved to be incredibly agile and supremely suitable for a marine environment

  8. Environmental factors resulted in the transition of habitat from land to the ocean. Possible environmental factors: Climate degradation Increased competition amongst other predators

  9. The above picture shows further evidence of genetic evolution Although the dolphin has no hind limbs, it retains a pelvis which supports the idea that the dolphin evolved from a land dwelling mammal. Genetic evolution has found no need to completely remove the pelvis. It does not hinder or benefit the individual

  10. Cultural Evolution • Some species of dolphin express and amazing trait that is passed along amongst the population by cultural evolution • The Common Bottle-Nose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) has been observed forcing schools of fish onto the shore by creating a bow wave and then feeding on the land-stranded fish. • The largest in the dolphin family, the killer whale (Orcinus Orca) practices a very similar learned behavior on the shores of Patagonia • This is a risky behavior for dolphins, some have been known to beach and become unable to return to the water and then die

  11. Killer Whale/Orca (Orcinus orca) Orca feeding on young seals that are attempting to understand the concept of swimming

  12. Depiction of Human Genetic Evolution The scale on the left extends in increments of millions of years

  13. Power of “Word of Mouth” The following graph shows several different techniques used to promote a company’s new product. The strength of word of mouth can be observed

  14. Analysis • Information can be passed from one individual to another, within a population, through genes as well as word of mouth • Genetic and cultural evolution are constantly changing and allowing individuals to become better equipped to survive as well as thrive within their population • The scales of time in which these two factors occur are drastically different yet they produce a similar desired outcome, to better equip the individual in life