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14 October, 2010

Researchers: Culture Evolves Slowly, Falls Apart Quickly

Culture Evolves Slowly, Falls Apart Quickly | Wired Science | Wired.com: "Societies come together slowly, but can fall apart quickly, say researchers who applied the tools of evolutionary biologists to an anthropological debate.

Using archaeological records and linguistic analyses rather than fossils and genes, they created an evolutionary tree of political forms once found in Pacific islands.

The study, published October 13 in Nature, was intended to illuminate an issue of contention among archaeologists, anthropologists and historians: whether societies become more complex in incremental steps or sudden bursts, and whether they dissolve in similar fashion..."

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