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University of Aberdeen
Phylogenetic trees and cultural evolution
Understanding the broad-scale variation in human cultural diversity is one approach to uncovering our origins and predicting where we may be headed in the future. A key obstacle in such studies, however, is the statistical need to control for shared cultural history between different groups. Here I will discuss how mathematical tools developed in biology and palaeontology that model evolution in a tree-like fashion can (and cannot!) be translated into linguistic and cultural evolution, with a particular focus on Pama-Nyungan (Australian) kinship.
A pizza lunch will be served. Please bring your own beverage.
This is a joint seminar with Penn’s Social and Cultural Evolution Working Group (SCEW).