Welcome back to Science Sundays! Before I launch into today's topic, I thought I'd note that there's a Giveaway going on over at Once Upon a Twilight--who doesn't like super easy giveaways on a Sunday?
Today I thought I'd talk a little bit about the sources of new cultural innovation. I mean, it doesn't take much looking around to see how diverse human culture is. From person to person, family to family, population to population, we all do lots of things differently when it comes to our culture. (By culture, I mean stuff that we've learned through social learning--either from parents or friends or teachers--that isn't totally encoded for in our genes.)
|Ummm, just no.|
Now, new ideas are awesome, but being human, we like to copy stuff, and no I don't mean downloading illegal movies and songs. I mean, duplicate things. Another source of variation comes from the fact that we're not so great at this all the time--something called imperfect, or error-prone transmission. It works a lot like the game Telephone. We don't always make a perfect replica, and little errors are incorporated, and more and more errors build up, until we have something pretty different. There are lots of examples of this, but my personal favorites are the "Nailed It" memes online :)
(And now you know why I really wrote this post--to get to waste time searching for these!)
Tune in next week as I think I may have actually convinced the resident physicist to write a post for us!