Memes origin of new

The Darwinian model of biological evolution is characterized by the fact that new useful phenotype traits, to be more precise new alleles, which determine their formation, are formed only by random mutations during evolution. In contrast, an important feature of cultural evolution is that a new meme variant can also be formed as a consequence of targeted, i.e. the purposefully directed activities of an individual.
Ethological experiments on a number of animals have unambiguously demonstrated that individuals faced with a problem, for example the necessity of reaching food that is too high to reach, begin to purposefully look for a suitable way of resolving the particular problem. Simultaneously, they need not progress only by the method of trial and error, but can combine previous experience in dealing with a similar situation. Although the method of trial and error is, for many species, a basic method of creating a great many useful patterns of behavior, the members of some species can employ insight in such a situation. For example, if an experimental chimpanzee could not reach a banana that was suspended high up and was also not even able to knock it down with a stick or by throwing various objects at it, it thought the problem over and, after some time, moved a box under the banana, climbed up on it and picked the banana (Lorenz et al. 1974). Once a successful solution has been found to the particular problem, this is very frequently preferentially adopted by the other animals in the population. Thus, cultural evolution can take place, not only by the mechanism of Darwinian evolution, but also by the mechanism of Lamarkian evolution, i.e. preferential emergence of useful (adaptive) memes and preferential inheritance of just these useful memes.

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The classical Darwinian theory of evolution can explain the evolution of adaptive traits only in asexual organisms. The frozen plasticity theory is much more general: It can also explain the origin and evolution of adaptive traits in both asexual and sexual organisms Read more