‘Population Bomb’ Author Paul Ehrlich Tackles Cultural Evolution
Culture is non-genetic information. Cultural evolution changes our non-genetic information.
Let me give you a general illustration: Scurvy is caused by nutrient deficiency, and in the early days of the British Navy it was so serious and widespread that it killed a lot of sailors. A British captain discovered in 1601 that sailors didn’t get scurvy if you gave them citrus fruits — but nobody took his advice. Then James Cook discovered the same thing 150 years later, and the trick spread quickly through the navy. The difference is that Cook was a celebrity. It’s an interesting result, and it’s the sort of thing we wish we understood more.