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  1. #1
    keannu's Avatar
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    Default it is a top-down explanation

    This writing needs some scientific knowledge like "Lamarckism, the theory of use and disuse". What do you think the two underlined are trying to say? This is a question of a college entrance exam, and the answer was the summary. It seems to denote that the enviroment affected the genetics, not vice versa.

    ex) Recent evidence suggests that the common ancestor of Neanderthals and modern people, living about 400,000 years ago, may have already been using pretty sophisticated language. If language is based on genes and is the key to cultural evolution, and Neanderthals had language, then why did the Neanderthal toolkit show so little cultural change?
    Moreover, genes would undoubtedly have changed during the human revolution after 200,000 years ago, but more in response to new habits than as causes of them. At an earlier date, cooking selected mutations for smaller guts and mouths, rather than vice versa. At a later date, milk drinking selected for mutations for retaining lactose digestion into adulthood in people of western European and East African descent. The appeal to a genetic change driving evolution gets gene-culture co-evolution backwards: it is a top-down explanation for a bottom-up process.

    summary : The cultural horse comes before the genetic cart

  2. #2
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: it is a top-down explanation

    1. Genes and cultures evolve together.

    2. Genes don't change culture, culture changes genes.

  3. #3
    keannu's Avatar
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    Default Re: it is a top-down explanation

    Okay, thanks a million, but let me ask grammar-wise.

    1.The appeal to a genetic change driving evolution gets gene-culture co-evolution backwards:
    In this, how are "gene-culture" and "co-evolution" related? Is "co-evolution" a verb or a noun? What's the meaning of "backwards"?

    2.it is a top-down explanation for a bottom-up process.
    In this, does "bottom-up process" mean "bottom = culture, up= genes"?

  4. #4
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: it is a top-down explanation

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    Okay, thanks a million, but let me ask grammar-wise.

    1.The appeal to a genetic change driving evolution gets gene-culture co-evolution backwards:
    In this, how are "gene-culture" and "co-evolution" related? Is "co-evolution" a verb or a noun? What's the meaning of "backwards"?

    2.it is a top-down explanation for a bottom-up process.
    In this, does "bottom-up process" mean "bottom = culture, up= genes"?
    1. They evolve together. That is how they are related. "Co-evolution" is a noun. Backwards means the cause and effect are reversed.

    2. In this case, yes. Top-down means directed or planned. Bottom up means naturally growing. In this case, they are saying the genes are not in charge, directing the growth of the culture. Rather, the culture changes as it grows and this growth leads to changes in genes.

  5. #5
    keannu's Avatar
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    Default Re: it is a top-down explanation

    In 2, Is the writer saying "top-down" explanation is wrong basically, while "bottom-up" process is correct?
    I can't understand why "top-down" explanation is related to "bottom-up" when the two are contradictory.

  6. #6
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: it is a top-down explanation

    Yes, the author is saying the bottom-up understanding is correct.

    The point the author is making that the other, opposite, top-down way of looking at it is wrong. That's how they are related.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: it is a top-down explanation

    Thanks a lot! Last thing! Is "The cultural horse comes before the genetic cart" a made-up one by the test-maker? I don't think it's a common phrase.

  8. #8
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: it is a top-down explanation

    There is an expression about "not putting the cart in front of the horse," which is to do things backwards. The author here is alluding to that and saying he is doing it the right way (horse in front of cart).

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