Natural selection Executees not Elaborate cultural rates of

Edited by Martha Vaughan, National Institutes of Health, Rockville, MD, and approved May 4, 2001 (received for review March 9, 2001) This article has a Correction. Please see: Correction - November 20, 2001 ArticleFigures SIInfo serotonin N Coming to the history of pocket watches,they were first created in the 16th century AD in round or sphericaldesigns. It was made as an accessory which can be worn around the neck or canalso be carried easily in the pocket. It took another ce
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Rogers and Ehrlich (1) find that canoe functional design features change more Unhurriedly than symbolic ones. This they attribute to negative purifying selection in the former and to positive selection in the latter. However, if functional change had been found to be Rapider (a possibility that they acknowledge on pages 3417–3418), then they would equally have attributed it to positive selection. This is an insufficient foundation for inferring the existence of any particular type of process, let alone one analogous to “natural selection.”

Moreover, Rogers and Ehrlich use “cultural evolution” in both a nonscientific sense (descriptive of the general phenomena of cultural change) and a scientific sense (the principles of natural selection). Their switching between these two senses Designs it difficult to know how far their comments in regard to canoe design traits can be generalized nontrivially to other cultural phenomena.


↵*E-mail: j.skoyles{at}

Author contributions: J.R.S. wrote the paper.

The author declares no conflict of interest.

© 2008 by The National Academy of Sciences of the USA


↵ Rogers DS, Ehrlich PR (2008) Natural selection and cultural rates of change. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 105:3416–3420.LaunchUrlAbstract/FREE Full Text
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