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Human Cultural Development (The Lifecycle of Need)

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posted on Jun, 4 2009 @ 12:17 AM
Due to the close association humans have with the subject of human culture, many observations made in these paragraphs are prone to cause controversy as well as consideration. These are merely observations. Any subjective conclusions that might be drawn are left to the spheres of philosophy and religion.

I. Overview

Human developments can be categorized by looking at their stimuli. The majority of human developments in a young culture are based on biological necessity. Those developments that are not based in biological necessity are found to be based on a psychological necessity.

These psychological necessities are themselves formed from biological necessities. The less connected a psychological necessity becomes from its root in the original biological necessity, the more it becomes a perceived necessity. Cultural indicators tend to be a manifestation of the collective conglomeration of all three of these categories of developmental stimuli.

II. Biological Necessity

Many cultural items commonly spring forward in disparate cultures. An example of this is the invention of the knife in cultures around the globe. Some were tooled from bone, while others were casted from metals. In much the same way, farming and animal husbandry are also developments that were based in biological necessity and somewhat based on similar environmental factors between disparate cultures.

Interesting of note is that the level of specificity in development that these needs result in is evidenced by the domestication and cultivation of grains in many disparate cultures. Following this is the appearance of pistils and mortars for the making of breads, and later adapted to the preparation of medicines by a similar science that has developed rather successfully in each diverse culture.

III. Psychological Necessity

The psychological affects of survival and life have had a similar effect evidenced by the development of inventions based in psychological necessities. Examples of these are "traditions, institutions, and organizations; in literature; in scientific and engineering accomplishments; in works of art" and religion.

In many situations, the developments that were based on psychological necessities manage to diffuse the stimulus for a biological necessity, which removes the biological necessity from the culture. However, the human mind has a historically tough time of forgetting learned behaviors. It appears that to the degree a behavior was based on survival, it will likewise become as deeply impressed upon the memory. This occurs to the point of automatic and/or involuntary replay of the behavior in situations that arise where survival is questioned.

IV. Perceived Necessity

Due to the shadow like existence of psychological necessity on top of biological necessity, the removal of a biological necessity creates a similarly strong perceived necessity within the culture. At this point in the cycle, the perceived necessity has two possible modes. It can either begin the process of being culturally forgotten or, if the urge to satisfy the psychological necessity is strong enough, it can create a new biological necessity that has as its stimulus the man made development that sprang from either the same or another psychological necessity. Examples of such developments that are themselves transformed into a biological necessity to fill the void of a of a biological necessity that has been eliminated are Law, both written and oral; property, currency, economics, and government.

If the perceived necessity is to be forgotten, the length of time required before every sign of its existence is removed from the culture is also based upon the strength of the urge to satisfy the original biological necessity. As these perceived necessities decay within a culture they also take the form of traditions. However, fewer and fewer members of that culture practice these traditions less and less, until they are completely erased from the culture.

V. Conclusion

It is due to the relative strength and dependence upon the biological, psychological, and perceived necessities that many conquering cultures typically eradicate or modify the instruments that were used to perpetuate the conquered culture; namely religion, elders, and lexicons. In such ways as this the theoretical law of natural selection makes itself manifest through human culture. This is to be expected, as the law of natural selection is a tendency that can be found in all of nature.

posted on Feb, 22 2010 @ 08:28 PM
Good stuff. S&F

Now, can you rewrite that in common, easily accessible language?

posted on Feb, 23 2010 @ 11:51 AM
reply to post by soficrow

I guess so... it was originally written "automatically" in 2001... it's probably about time I actually put some conscious attention on it.


posted on Feb, 23 2010 @ 01:04 PM
reply to post by HunkaHunka

I didn't mean to put it down at all. It's really very good - succinct, well written, well conceived.

...It's just that simple language gets more attention.

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