Is Culture as Malleable As We Feared?

Perhaps not, if this study published yesterday in Nature Human Behaviour is to be believed. Study researchers compared rates of cultural evolution vs. rates of biological evolution.

most culture is subject to “directional and stabilising forces”… – even creating stasis in some cases.

“In short, the reason why a large part of modern culture shows so little long-term change,” they write, “is because of the action of some constraining force.” __

We have seen rapid technological change in areas related to semiconductor development affected by Moore’s Law. Electronic devices using semiconductors have evolved very quickly over the past several decades. The internet has exploded the worlds of commerce, entertainment, education, etc. At the same time, leftist political factions have gained rapid influence in media, academia, government, and other cultural institutions. Finally, birthrates in the advanced world have collapsed leading to the rapid ageing of affluent societies.

“All we have is this sense that culture evolves really quickly, but relative to what?” said Armand Leroi, an evolutionary biologist at Imperial College London.

Leroi and his colleagues believe that cultural traits evolve much like biological ones, in that they are formed via descent by modification. “When making something new, people start with something that someone else has done,” he said.

So they used the tools of evolutionary biology to measure how fast selections of human cultural objects are evolving, and compared them to the rate of evolution of a variety of animal populations.

… In their paper, published today in the journal Nature Human Behaviour, They reviewed changes in the topics of the novels and scientific articles, body size of the cars, and musical content of the songs.

They compared these rates with the rate of evolution of a dozen animals, including some famous examples such as Darwin’s finches from the Galapagos Islands and pepper moths in northern England, and found something surprising. The cultural objects didn’t evolve very quickly — in fact they changed around the same speed as most of the animals in the study. __

Many cultural anthropologists and sociologists believe differently, and have performed studies that project faster rates of cultural evolution than are seen in biological evolution. But this most recent study suggests that unseen factors tend to slow down cultural evolution.

Given that human culture is built directly upon human cognition — and human cognition is built directly on human genes — it is likely that some underlying innate “human nature” has much to do with moderating the rates of cultural evolution.

In addition, the basic laws of thermodynamics and the basic laws of economics both place harsh restrictions on how quickly a runaway cultural movement can change the underlying societies.

Modern human societies are also getting older, and older human beings have lower levels of certain hormones which may cause them to behave and think more conservatively.

Leftist Radical “Progressives” May Have Overshot the Mark

Before the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, leftist radicals believed that they had all of American society wrapped up in a nice neat gift-wrapped bundle. They believed they had won the “culture war,” and that the “climate apocalypse cult” could be used as a giant club to extinguish the use of fossil fuels in western societies (but not in China, India, Russia, Africa, or Latin America). The economic impact of that fox paw 😉 on Europe and the Anglosphere would have been horrific.

Only a decade ago, CNNs Jim Acosta in particular—but representative of the whole progressive establishment—viewed the inauguration of Barack Obama as the culmination of the whole New Deal, Great Society agenda for the nation, comparing him to having Abraham Lincoln’s “big shoes to fill,” and calling his opening speech to the nation an agenda “for the ages.”[3] Then all of a sudden here was this “hateful brat” Donald Trump.

There were pleasant surprises for conservatives from President Trump once in office for cutting market and social regulations, the appointment of conservative judges, and tax cuts, although with mixed signals on trade and industrial policy. On the other hand, with increased spending and a commitment not to touch entitlements and even adding more government employees, there seemed no commitment to the central conservative ideal of limited government.

… __

To the chagrin of leftist intellectuals and pseudo-intellectuals, the election of Donald Trump emboldened cultural conservatives in the US — and the rest of the modern world. A wide range of culturally conservative movements and voices suddenly emerged in public life, on the internet, inside academia, and from within other mainstream cultural institutions.

Because no one dared speak publicly, progressives had assumed their education and mainstream media “mocking” of traditional values had turned America progressive and now Donald Trump had proven they had not. Now with Mr. Trump in office, the last hope to contain the effects could only be by the expert bureaucracy that was the original faith of progressive scientific administration to produce the good welfare state. Rather than the elected president representing the people, salvation must now come from the permanent government. [ed: “The Swamp”] __

But the swamp is being gradually exposed for the corrupt monstrosity that it has always been.

The US 2nd Amendment movement has been a particularly strong force, with well-attended rallies taking place across the nation.

The second amendment movement may also be adding strength to other cultural institutions, such as religion.

They’re preparing for the worst-case scenario, one where their congregations are the target of a mass shooting — something that was almost unthinkable a few years ago but has happened twice in Texas in the past three years.

… Chuck Chadwick, the founder and president of the National Organization for Church Security and Safety Management, has been in the church security business for about 18 years, encouraging parishioners and worshippers to take their safety into their own hands. He’s experienced a spike in interest in recent weeks, following the White Settlement shooting, that mirrors the same interest his business got after Sutherland Springs.

In a one-story building in Krugerville, a city about an hour and a half north of Dallas, located next to a State Farm office and gun shop, attendees go through the same state-certification training as private security guards. Except at the end, instead of being paid to protect an office building, the participants will be volunteers protecting their flocks. __

Devout church members are beginning to see their faith again as a “life or death” matter, as it was in the days of the Roman Coliseum, the Spanish Inquisition, or as it is in today’s communist China. For American believers, this injection of sobriety is likely to boost church attendance (and firearms carry licenses for churchgoers). In other words, the long-run effect of these church shootings is likely to be the opposite of what the criminal gunmen who initiate the shootings were hoping.

Note: Al Fin is neither a religious observer nor a believer in any religion. But it is clear that religion can serve as a strong stabilising force in western societies.

Leftist Radicals Boost Own Opposition

The more assertive the radical forces of the extinctionist new left, the greater will be the pushback from other directions. For example, there are plenty of scientists who doubt the “climate apocalypse” aspects of climate change, and as the evidence supporting them accumulates they will be less fearful of speaking out against the political steamroller that has silenced so many.

As the “evidence” for climate apocalypse is increasingly refuted, the radical and violent voices seeking to silence more rational voices will get less support from the public. As evidence for human biological diversity builds, the voices for radical egalitarianism will find less support from the more thoughtful and well-read.

The emergence of the Intellectual Dark Web out of academia has revealed that the culture war has not been won by either side. Intelligent human beings rebel against being told what to think, what to say, and who to be — as the radical left juggernaut of cultural engineering tries to force them to do.

Biological Human Nature is a real thing, no matter how leftist radicals try to paint it. The push-back against leftist overreach has barely begun.

This entry was posted in anthropology, Disruptive Technologies, Donald Trump and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Is Culture as Malleable As We Feared?

  1. Pingback: Is Culture as Malleable As We Feared? — al fin next level | tomaz2015

Comments are closed.