A great quote from Tooby & Cosmides, from a chapter in Evolution, Literature, Film: A Reader (2010).

Both Biology and Culture evolve. Try and stop 'em.

Both Biology and Culture evolve. Try and stop ’em.

Tooby & Cosmides write:

`Like modern physics, Darwinian theory is subtle, strange, inhuman, and enormously successful as an explanatory system.

It has successfully explained why a great many of the functional design features of species, including humans, have the forms that they do.

As evolutionary psychologists have found, evolutionary theory also accounts precisely for a large number of features of the human mind, and their expressions in human behaviour.

Evolutionary theories of function elegantly predict and account for the existence and detailed structure of cooperation, aggression, sexual desire, love for one’s children and family, the dimensions of conflict or tension inside the family, sexual jealousy, the avoidance of incest, the formation of in-groups, and hundreds of other phenomena that organize human life in all cultures.

(Tooby & Cosmides in Boyd, Carroll & Gottschall 2010, p. 175)

For more on human nature, see this post.

So, Biological Evolution: uses the evolutionary algorithm – Selection, Variation, Transmission (with: genes)

Biological Evolution

Biological Evolution – Source: (M. Csikszentmihalyi and Wolfe 2000: 84)

While, Cultural Evolution:  uses the evolutionary algorithm – Selection, Variation, Transmission (with memes, i.e. ideas, processes or products)

Creativity and Cultural Evolution

Creativity and Cultural Evolution – The Systems Model of Creativity
Source: (M. Csikszentmihalyi and Wolfe 2000: 84)

And – for more detail on the evolutionary systems (or, complexity) view of narrative and bioculture in general, see, this book chapter:

StoryAlity #132The holon/parton structure of the Meme, the unit of culture – and the narreme, or unit of story – book chapter (Velikovsky 2016)

And for a great consilience & creativity & evolution reading list, see:

StoryAlity #71On Consilience in the Arts / Humanities / Communication

Comments, always welcome.


JT Velikovsky

High-RoI Story/Screenplay/Movie and Transmedia Researcher

The above is (mostly) an adapted excerpt, from my doctoral thesis: “Communication, Creativity and Consilience in Cinema”. It is presented here for the benefit of fellow screenwriting, filmmaking and creativity researchers. For more, see https://aftrs.academia.edu/JTVelikovsky

JT Velikovsky is also a produced feature film screenwriter and million-selling transmedia writer-director-producer. He has been a professional story analyst for major film studios, film funding organizations, and for the national writer’s guild. For more see: http://on-writering.blogspot.com/



Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly and Wolfe, Rustin (2000), ‘New Conceptions and Research Approaches to Creativity: Implications for a Systems Perspective of Creativity in Education’, in K. A.  Heller, et al. (eds.), International Handbook of Giftedness and Talent (2nd edn.; Amsterdam; Oxford: Elsevier).

Tooby & Cosmides, reprinted in Boyd, B., Carroll, J., & Gottschall, J. (2010). Evolution, Literature and Film: A Reader. New York: Columbia University Press.

Velikovsky, J. T. (2016). `The Holon/Parton Theory of the Unit of Culture (or the Meme, and Narreme): In Science, Media, Entertainment and the Arts.‘ In A. Connor & S. Marks (Eds.), Creative Technologies for Multidisciplinary Applications. New York: IGI Global.

Related articles:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.