Elements Of Culture As Tool Making Or Systems Of Communication

1026 Words Jun 24th, 2015 null Page
Following the establishment of cultures with more complex foraging strategies, elements of culture such as tool-making could begin acting more strongly as a positive selective force in human evolution, channeling and refining their cognitive ability. However, it is fallacious to think that there was a single event at which social or cultural forces became important to the trajectory of human brain evolution. Elements of culture, whether tool-making or systems of communication, more likely came to be increasingly strong feedback loops for greater cognitive development as they accumulated over the past hundred thousand years of human evolution. The trajectory of developing larger, more capable brains, however, would be decisively locked in with the coming of agricultural and pastoral cultures. These societies consisted of a wide variety of specialized tasks which individuals would be required to learn and switch between, involved long-term management of assets and maintenance of kinship networks, and in which men controlled the distribution of resources and women (Foley and Gamble 2012). Social features such as these were not the result of a sharp increase in human cognitive ability, but arose out of accrued knowledge and preexisting cognitive capacity. The suite of behaviors and technologies associated with these cultures allowed humans to exert significant influence on their surrounding environments, causing them to co-evolve with the animals they kept as livestock and…

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