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Cultural Replication Theory and Law

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  • Oliver Goodenough

    (Vermont Law School)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Oliver Goodenough, "undated". "Cultural Replication Theory and Law," Gruter Institute Working Papers on Law, Economics, and Evolutionary Biology 1-1-1006, Berkeley Electronic Press.
  • Handle: RePEc:bep:grleeb:1-1-1006
    Note: oai:bepress:giwp-1006
    as

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    File URL: http://www.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1006&context=giwp
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