Cultural and linguistic diversity: evolutionary approaches


There’s a special issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society out on the theme of Cultural and linguistic diversity: evolutionary approaches.

From the introduction:

Evolutionary approaches to cultural change are increasingly influential, and many scientists believe that a ‘grand synthesis’ is now in sight. The papers in this Theme Issue, which derives from a sym- posium held by the AHRC Centre for the Evolution of Cultural Diversity (University College London) in December 2008, focus on how the phylogenetic tree-building and network-based tech- niques used to estimate descent relationships in biology can be adapted to reconstruct cultural histories, where some degree of inter-societal diffusion will almost inevitably be superimposed on any deeper signal of a historical branching process.


  • On the shape and fabric of human history – Russell D. Gray, David Bryant, and Simon J. Greenhill