Thursday, 15 May 2014

Daniel Dennett: The De-Darwinizing of Cultural Change

Here is Daniel Dennett on what he calls the De-Darwinizing of Cultural Change. Here, Dennett claims that human culture started out working along Darwinian lines, and then gradually became less Darwinian. Dennett claims that Turing, Shakespeare, Gaudi and Einstein represent intelligent design - which is not so Darwinian.

Is this thesis correct? We have to keep Darwin in mind here. A human genius still has a pretty thoroughly Darwinian process going on inside their mind. Dennett is, I believe, well aware of this, most of the time. So, it isn't clear why he is thinking of intelligent design as being 'non-Darwinian' here.

On a different topic, Dennett has a nice description of the cultural origins of languages near the end of the video.

Update April 2015: In 2015, Dennett expanded on the topic in another video: De-Darwinizing Culture.

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