Results 1 to 2 of 2

Thread: Culture May Be Encoded in DNA

  1. #1
    Funding Member
    „Friend of Germanics”
    Funding Membership Inactive
    Nachtengel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Last Online
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    Thanked in
    603 Posts

    Culture May Be Encoded in DNA

    Culture May Be Encoded in DNA

    Knowledge is passed down directly from generation to generation in the animal kingdom as parents teach their children the things they will need to survive. But a new study has found that, even when the chain is broken, nature sometimes finds a way.

    Zebra finches, which normally learn their complex courtship songs from their fathers, spontaneously developed the same songs all on their own after only a few generations.

    “We found that in this case, the culture was pretty much encoded in the genome,” said Partha Mitra of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York, co-author of a study in Nature on Sunday.

    Birds transmit their songs through social interactions, as humans do for languages, dances, cuisine and other cultural elements. Though birds and humans have clearly followed different evolutionary paths, birdsong culture can still inform theories of human culture.

    Normally, male finches learn their complex courtship songs (MP3) from their uncles and fathers. But if there are no vocal role models around, the song will deviate from the traditional song and be harsh to female finch ears (MP3). Each bird, then, must learn from his father or uncles, as they learned from their fathers, and so on — but this can only take us so far down the lineage.

    “It’s the classic ‘chicken and the egg’ puzzle,” Mitra said. “Learning may explain how the son copies its father’s song, but it doesn’t explain the origin of the father’s song.”

    Mitra’s team wanted to find out what would happen if an isolated bird raised his own colony. As expected, birds raised in soundproof boxes grew up to sing cacophonous songs.

    But then scientists let the isolated birds give voice lessons to a new round of hatchlings. They found that the young males imitated the songs — but they tweaked them slightly, bringing the structure closer to that of songs sung in the wild. When these birds grew up and became tutors, their pupils’ song continue to conform, with tweaks.

    After three to four generations, the teachers were producing strapping young finches that belted out normal-sounding songs.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    rainman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Last Online
    Sunday, February 28th, 2010 @ 05:34 PM
    Scotch-Irish, Welsh, English, Dutch, German, French
    Alpine-Nordic mix
    United States United States
    Ohio Ohio
    Single, looking
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    Thanked in
    13 Posts
    Thanks. This confirms something I have stated about human culture:

    Basically your people's culture is something you yourself would invent if you were able to live 1,000 years. It is based on the experiences of people like you and their conclusions. When you learn the culture of your own people you are learning about a part of yourself.

    I discovered that my natural instincts, thoughts, inclinations etc. seem to conform almost exactly to old Aryan pagan behavior, beliefs etc. whether it be Greek, Roman or Nordic. However living in Christian culture, Jewish culture, Communist culture, African American etc. for me its like trying to fit a round peg in a square hole. It goes against my own inborn nature, instincts, observations etc. Whereas when I learn from my own culture its like wow that is really eye opening- that's a conclusion I would have come to if I would have studied that or experienced this. I would probably have created a rituals something like that etc. We stand on our ancestors shoulders.

Similar Threads

  1. Indigenous European Spirituality Encoded in the Folk Tradition
    By Nachtengel in forum Indo-Germanic Spirituality
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: Sunday, July 16th, 2017, 05:58 PM
  2. Replies: 3
    Last Post: Saturday, January 21st, 2017, 11:29 PM
  3. Social Welfare Encoded In Nordic Genes?
    By Northern Paladin in forum Cultural & Linguistic Anthropology
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: Thursday, February 10th, 2005, 07:27 AM
  4. Replies: 20
    Last Post: Thursday, December 23rd, 2004, 04:04 AM
  5. The Cardial Ceramic Culture (or Impressed Ceramics Culture)
    By Frans_Jozef in forum Anthropogeny & Ethnogenesis
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: Friday, August 22nd, 2003, 06:56 PM


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts