Nov 8, 2017 in Sociology

Evolution of Human Culture

Evolution is a process of modifications occurring in the inherited materials of certain population due to its interaction with the surrounding environment. It results in the ability of the population’s representatives to adapt as well as continue advancing and developing. This occurrence is the key force of progress.

It is obvious that we are very different from the inhabitants that were here a while ago: our anatomy, chemistry, physiology have changed, as well as our psychosocial and mental traits and characteristics. In order to comprehend the force of adaptation and evolution, it is important to research history of the human race in general. During the past few decades significantly more information became widely available and it is facile to trace which triggers made it possible for humans to evolve.

It is important to realize that evolution of culture took quiet a lot of time before significant noticeable changes took place. The initiation of this process occurred alongside advancements in physiological features. Ancestors of humans used to be a lot like animals in the way they lived and behaved; their anatomical features were a lot different from people in the modern days. This is especially true for the nervous system, as it was much less developed. The trigger that seems to be the most important one in both the formation of culture and advances of physical was the invention of the tools and generally the ability to utilize and rely on technology.

The tools that were made and utilized initially were primitive and simple, however, they provided a great additional advantage over other species, which could never be obtained by them. Since the invention of these tools the process of improvement and invention of newer and better ones was initiated; developing tools became a very important part and aspect of life.

This contributed to the development of interest areas of interest. These advances provided more chances for success in hunting and fishing, as well as being safe and, therefore, surviving not only due to the natural selection as we know and comprehend it, but due to a symbiosis of the physical qualities and the awakening mental abilities. This occurrence has a considerable underlying meaning, as it became the setting stone in the formation of diverse human culture.

The creation of tools could be considered an innovation that opened up new opportunities and lead to overcoming the limitations of the anatomical disadvantages, especially in the structure of nervous system, and more specifically the brain, which did not allow a lot of functions that we obtain today, one of which - precise hand and finger movement that are required for work on and with the tools. It is possible to say that the utilization of the simplest technologies provoked stimulation and training of numerous centers in the brain, which has probably lead to development of thoughts, process of thinking, which lead to creation of culture.

This has ultimately resulted in the ability of solving environmental challenges and problems not with biological animalistic instincts, programmed in the DNA, but with non-biological answers. As a result, the essential genetic evolution, as a physical response to environment, was slowed down a little, giving the mind a chance to develop to its potential.

Among other occurrences, living in tribes, creating communities and certain set of rules and order in them is a very significant step in formation of social aspects of the culture as it brought individuals together. They divided the duties to make the work easier and each individual had a certain function that he had to perform. With that, another significant step was the emerging of speech and language abilities. Living in communities made it possible for these centers of the brain to develop as well. This resulted in sharing information, techniques and experiences. Stories and legends could be made up and shared as well.

Around the same time period the first tools were invented and the first steps were taken towards the development of the process of thinking and creating, human ancestors could manage essentially occurring fire, which gave them an obvious benefit and advantage over other species. Beliefs and traditions were also developing, slowly but steadily: our ancestors performed acts of burying the dead, caring for the ill ones. All of the small and slow steps resulted in the huge leap forward and with the first standardized more advanced tools the first works of art (jewelry, paintings).

Therefore, human beings are the result of biological evolution, however, in general sense we have created the culture that makes it possible for us to rise above the barriers and limitations of our physical bodies, stimulating the process of thinking that leads to achievement of spiritual satisfaction. As a result, humans are able to live in nearly every climate and environment, we created and live in unnatural environments, and the process of both physical and cultural evolution does not stop there. Our culture obtains numerous features and aspects and it keeps developing as well. The progression that has been happening to the human race is a complex occurrence that could only be referred to as biocultural evolution, as human beings are successfully containing both their biological features as well as the fairly new culturally influenced ones.

Related essays