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How much advantage can an individual cultural trait confer? Compare Judeo-Christian attitudes about sex to Greco-Roman attitudes about sex.
One might argue that the Judeo-Christian attitudes are superior, since Christianity did eventually take over Rome.
[The Lost European Explorer] experiment has been repeated many times when European explorers were stranded in an unfamiliar habitat.
Despite desperate efforts and ample learning time, these hardy men and women suffered or died because they lacked crucial information about how to adapt to the habitat.
Consider: one Inuit tries the red berries and discovers they make her sick.This is also unsurprising from a population biology perspective.Suppose that one of my children gets a mutation causing 1% less risk of infectious disease.In the same way, it’s plausible that cultures might evolve strong internal defenses against actions that are fun but Weaken Moral Fabric, and sure enough we find that everything halfway enjoyable comes with a lecture from our elders about Why We Shouldn’t Do It.Presumably if these things really Weaken Moral Fabric in an important way, then those cultures that develop strong internal defenses against them – for example, a strong and well-enforced religious taboo against gay marriage – will be more likely succeed while other cultures die out.