Des gènes à la culture : réflexions finales

Marcel OTTE

fr Comptes Rendus Palevol 16 (2) - Pages 218-223

Published on 30 April 2017

This article is a part of the thematic issue From genes to culture

From genes to culture: Final discussions

Imagination pushes humanity well beyond its natural biological capacities. An approach of co-evolution, between molecular biology and behaviour, is thus required to explain these combined processes. Technological performances define spiritual conquests and formulas whose sole function is cultural. Humanity operates according to intentional social modes defined by the group, but these immediately become conditions for their own evolution. These choices are the motor for the history of humanity, and thus humanity can itself choose its own path. Anatomic modernisation is only a distant reflection of bipedalism, but freeing the hands leads to the development of abstract thought. The relationship between anatomy and awareness allows infinite variations in the harmonious adaptation to nature, animals and other societies. In Europe, humanity arrived in abrupt bursts because it was the result of external evolution, continuous and distant, dispersed across Asia. By its unceasing audacity, humanity combats biological determinism, imposing “moral” rules, or imperatives. The balance between biology and culture is reflected in the rules for sharing food: the biological life itself is coded by social sharing. These systems take on ternary values as soon as they include animal behaviours. Built shelters integrate societies with the cosmos because they delimit cultural spaces within natural chaos. Mastery of cognitive mechanisms gives humanity an entirely new responsibility, that of being able to define its destiny. Our united disciplines are transformed into ethical requirements.


Behaviour, Anatomy, Environment

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