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Cultural Replication Theory and Law

Listed author(s):
  • Oliver Goodenough

    (Vermont Law School)

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    Does law itself evolve? It has been widely suggested that culturally transmitted behavioral information exhibits a Darwinian evolutionary dynamic. The argument is straightforward. Darwinian evolution has three basic elements: (i) replicative descent with (ii) variation, subject to (iii) a form of selection. Bundles of cultural information as diverse as language, religious practices, and how to bake bread pass with imperfect fidelity from generation to generation. Some of the variants created by these imperfections are passed, non-randomly, to the next generation with greater frequency.

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    Paper provided by Berkeley Electronic Press in its series Gruter Institute Working Papers on Law, Economics, and Evolutionary Biology with number 1-1-1006.

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    Handle: RePEc:bep:grleeb:1-1-1006
    Note: oai:bepress:giwp-1006
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