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date: 23 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article, which defines the relation between sociobiology and other kinds of evolutionary account, and between meme-based versions and population-level learning accounts, also tries to sharpen the understanding of the promises of cultural evolutionary theories. Charles Darwin's synthesis does not always place natural selection in the foreground. One very specific source of skepticism is directed at the use some cultural evolutionists make of the meme concept. Theories of cultural evolution need not, and often do not, support the meme concept. A casual reading of the meme concept might lead one to think that cultural evolutionary theories cast humans in a passive role. Developmental systems theory may present the most likely site for a full reconciliation between social anthropology and cultural evolutionary theory.

Keywords: sociobiology, meme concept, cultural evolutionary theories, Charles Darwin, scepticism, cultural evolution, developmental systems theory

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