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A team of researchers from several institutions in the U.K. and one in the U.S. has found that human culture evolves just as slowly as biological evolution. In their paper published in the journal Nature Human Behavior, the group describes how they developed metrics for cultural evolution and compared them with metrics for biological evolution.
Modern society is filled with references to the speed at which change happens—mainstream music moves from rock, to pop, to rap, seemingly overnight; dress hemlines go up or down with the seasons. But some of that might be an illusion, the researchers with this new effort contend, because of the way we view change. They suggest that human cultural change is just as slow-moving as biological change—and it is because most cultural artifacts are subjects to both stabilizing and directional forces.
Rate - Culture - Changes - Rates - Evolution
To compare the rate at which human culture changes to rates of biological evolution, the researchers assigned variables to characteristics of several cultural artifacts—whether or not guitars were the major instrument in the average song, for example, or how car features such as...
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