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[1.9 MB PDF]

“Anthropogenic Climate Change: A Worst-case Scenario” Executive Summary

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Center for Human Evolution


HOME | WORKSHOPS 1 2 3 4 5


Workshop 4

“Cultural Evolution”

Convened May 18–19, 2000 | Foundation For the Future Building, Bellevue, Washington


Six scholars were invited to the Foundation For the Future for Workshop 4 and brought multifaceted views of issues related to cultural evolution. In addition to papers presented by the scholars, the workshop participants reviewed a list of twelve critical question themes and selected five of them for discussion: (1) What are the paradigms in opposition to a Darwinian perspective of cultural evolution? (2) What is a meme? (3) What evolved features of the human mind make people likely to adopt memes that are inimical to their own interests? (4) In cultural evolution, what will stop backsliding so that once a certain amount of variation is achieved, it can be maintained without sliding back into the general mix? (5) What will human culture look like a thousand years from now?

Proceedings (5.3 MB PDF) of this workshop, including transcripts of presentations and all dialogic sessions, available for download.

Papers presented

“Memetic Evolution: An Apology for Monocultural Reductionism?” Dr. Munawar A. Anees
“Instant Evolution: The Influence of the City on Human Genes – A Speculative Case,”
Dr. Howard Bloom
“Application of a Contextual Perspective on Cultural Evolution to the Future of Humanity,”
Prof. Liane Gabora
“The Evolution of Cultural Maladaptations,” Dr. Peter J. Richerson


Munawar Anees
Author, Social Critic, Founding Editor
Periodica Islamica; International Journal of Islamic and Arabic Studies
Tucson, AZ USA

Howard Bloom
International Paleopsychology Project
Brooklyn, NY USA

William H. Calvin
Author and Neurobiologist
University of Washington School of Medicine
Seattle, WA USA

Liane Gabora
Research Fellow, Dept. of Psychology
University of California
Berkeley, CA USA

Aaron Lynch
Evanston, IL USA

Peter Richerson
Professor, Dept. of Environmental Science and Policy
University of California
Davis, CA USA