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Old February 13 2014, 11:28 PM   #34
CorporalCaptain
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Re: Are monocultures actually the rule?

FreedPhotons wrote: View Post
To answer that I think we need first to ask ourselves two questions:
1/ Why do we have so many cultures in the first place?
2/ Is the reason why applicable to other planets?
This is a good beginning, but what it's missing is a projection of what we are going to look like in the future. If human culture will evolve into a "monoculture", say because of global communication, the global economy, and global travel, say over the next several hundred years, then that undermines the use of humanity as an example of monocultures not being the rule. Thanks to technology, our global society is qualitatively different now than it ever has been in the past.

A few more quibbles:

1/ We have different cultures because us humans have continuously expanded our habitat after having outgrown it (because, mainly, of population surges). With expansion comes geographical separation and impossibility to communicate (pre-internet!).
Expansion isn't the only reason why ancient people migrated. Climate, lack of food, and competition played their part.

Since the concept of evolution isn't just a biological one - as Richard Dawkins theorized and even dare I say proved, there is "sociological" evolution - we have to assume that any culture is constantly changing and evolving.
Richard Dawkins is hardly the world's seminal sociologist. To imply that sociocultural evolution is an idea due to Dawkins or to suggest that his work was instrumental in proving that it occurs does a disservice to the scientists who actually deserve credit, including those such as Childe who made significant contributions to the field before Dawkins was even born.

2/ If we're talking about a life form that we would be able to communicate with, a life-form that we recognize as close enough to our own that we can consider them "intelligent life-forms" by our standards, they have to have "evolved", and follow "evolution" in a way that is close enough to ours that many principles apply.
While many of the intelligent species encountered in Star Trek did evolve in ways similar to how humans (in-universe) evolved, that was by no means universally true of all aliens with whom communication was possible. The Companion in "Metamorphosis" and the cloud in "One of Our Planets Is Missing" have unknown origin, they do not belong to any recognizable cultures, and they are life forms of a completely different order, and yet communication was still possible with them and they were recognized as intelligent. That alone is enough to take the "have to have" out of your statement.
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