Cultural Evolution



Humans and all hominids before humans were – and are – the maker of tools. The two qualities that separate humans from all other species on this planet are our ability to create technology and to create the systems that technology requires. Technology is the catalyst for cultural change. The process of political, economic, and social adjustment to these technological changes is cultural evolution.

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The Tail Wagging the Dog

Cultural evolution can be seen clearly in the history of Judaism. The beginning of Judaism can be traced to the first civilization, the Sumerian, over 5000 years ago. Some of the Sumerian Gilgamesh tales are incorporated into the Torah and known as the book of Geneses in the Christian Old Testament. The tribes of Abraham migrated from the Tigris Euphrates to the Levant. There they built a civilization centered around Jerusalem. The Israelis developed the second monotheistic religion in the world (after Zoroastrianism). The Jewish culture was built around its religion and unified tribal loyalty in society. Israelites had been expelled from Jerusalem by conquerors several times.

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The Curiosity Trait

Curiosity is the desire to know. The curiosity trait is universal and is critical in the cultural evolution of human society. It is that sense of wonder that we are born with. We all possess it, and like other basic truths, we seldom give the concept any thought – yet it is a prime component of who we are both as individuals and as a species. Curiosity transcends species. It is that universal quality of wanting to know and understand the unknown.

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