Culture as the long reach of the gene
Good post. I think the gene-culture coevolution model is generally better then the culture-as-extended-phenotype model. Consider something like the breakdown of marriage in the United States after the 1960s. After the incentives changed thanks to Great Society welfare programs and Second Wave feminism (a cultural difference), marriage collapsed almost instantly among blacks (the subject of Moynihan's famous report on the black family), who reverted to something closer to their ancestral mating pattern. Among whites, however, the institution initially remained fairly strong, albeit in altered form. But over the span of a few decades, without significant genetic change, whites also began to follow the new incentives (this is the subject of Charles' Murray's Coming Apart). Whites are more "genetically monogamous" then blacks, and thus responded to changing culture differently, but both groups were affected.
What is true is that the extreme homogenization of global culture and institutions (due to colonialism, the end of the Cold War, English as lingua franca, and improved communications, especially the Internet) makes genetics much more dominant as the major source of group differences. But this was not always true! Cultural transmission used to be much slower, allowing for large cultural differences even among very similar populations (see French vs other northwestern European, or Quebecer, marital fertility, 1760-1870 or so). These days, the only way to maintain those sorts of differences is with extreme cultural barriers (think Haredi Jews or the Amish).
I don't know if Scandinavians are individualists taking their long-standing social-ists goverments
I think you're hitting on a profoundly important area of research here. One that could have enormous explanatory and revelatory power. I hope you'll explore and report on it further.
See also Peter Frost’s War on Murder (https://evoandproud.blogspot.com/2013/06/making-europeans-kinder-gentler.html?m=1)
There is also the European ancestor cult that requires a legitimate son by a legitimate wife to take up his father’s office as chief-priest-judge in charge of the sacred hearth sited over the ancestors’ grave. He would lead the religious corporation called the Household which is be held as a sacred trust from his fathers to his descendants and to govern it with the power of life and death in according with his fathers’ customs with advise of the family council. This made their home an inalienable private property because you cannot worship elsewhere and you most certainly don’t wanted to make the powerful dead angry with unacceptable behavior or people, leading to curses.
For this reason, the bride must be made acceptable to the dead through initiation into the ancestral cult before she can share home and sacred feast and give the chief a son. The bastards are simply not a part of the Household corporate cult. (Same with slaves and children, and other dependents, they must undergo the initiation to be made acceptable to the gods) Divorces are excessively rare and only on condition of being barren. Many cultures have different rules to protect the wives such as a eight year’s wait time before divorce. This is the real root of the European monogamy and rare divorce, though it can varies in different places.
What is the role of human memory/mimicry/repetition/learning/differentiation/retention (right/wrong - Mom/Dad/teacher/friend/ colleague/supervisor boss did/said?) - what worked/did not, in previous environments/situations?
And within and between and across other species with our own? - or does instinct always rule?
Thinking of dogs and cats I have known well, all the instinct bells and whistles, but also apparent joint skill teaching/learning - or was that only my perception/one-way projected anthropomorphic sentiment on my part, and reward for behavior on theirs?
The mole cricket is another example, in this case building a chamber that amplifies its mating call. Check out Insect Bioacoustics.
I was also reminded of this talk, where John Vervaeky says "Relevance realisation basically does the same thing evolution does."
Very good, though the extended phenotype theory reminds me to the human civilizations as biocultural systems hyphotesis proposed by Hippolyte Taine, are they related?
Yes, you end up with a weird self-referencing strange attractor/Repeller dynamics with Self-Organizing Criticalities (aka war) reducing the social entropy of civilization in the same way you have inhibitory pathways in your brain downregulating certain streams of ionization or pruning malleability (phenotypic plasticity) in the same way your boss commands the workers to restrict their behaviors and work on a set of given tasks, there is a scale-free invariant negentropic latent factor to conscious self-directed evolution that is projected over all states of existence and being when one maps it to any level of theories in systems science (i.e. complexity theory, chaos theory, network theory, ergodicity theory, game theory) between sets of local and global objects. The set of interactions is recursive at the intra-individual level, then at the inter-individual level, then the intragroup level, then the intergroup level, intra and interspecies and so on forth...
a(b) b(a) a(b(a)) b(a(b))
some kind of high degree of freedom or ordering principle of higher degree of n-th order consequences in non-linear dynamical chaotic systems with some periodicity of orbits that converge into some mapped convergence/divergences when all sets of priors or choices are coincident for each latent layer. like in openai you can observe cooperation/defection/deception, emergent behavior from simple behavioral mechanistic reward functions/cellular automata rules, boredom/energy decay functions in humans, etc.
at a reductionistic level its just fluxes in the quanta/field level of existence that comes into being leading to coherence when the signals are decoded between entities.
technically it's a set of time-step sequences in Lyapunov time being compressed via reduction in Kolmogorov complexity being imputed in at the entity-level state. humans are bounded by energetic processes in the discovery rate of new phenomes of phenotypes because of conserved genome sequences, aka malleable software in the limitations of hardware. reverse engineering the complexity of chronological unbounded evolution to produce synthetic life on the basis of a given set of environmental path-parameters is a whole another feat however. engineering observable variance to maximize some parameter-state is possible in less than a decade but recovering the impartial information state of unobserved variance without a theory of everything or theory of description of the coded genome-products/product-interactions of how it initiates is not possible. aka producing some alternate stable civilization with personality-hybrids or configurable dispositions or meta-meta dispositions. higher-level controllers or abstracted representation spaces of lower-resolution state spaces must arise first-- how to mathematically represent recursive dynamical fuzzy time-functions. impossible without a 10 or 20 SD increase in IQ, same as the black-box sAIs we have nowadays that simply do a low-level dimensional reduction over sparse data but we can't just scan at some numbers and immediately intuit the patterns.