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Washington State University
College of Arts and Sciences Oldowan chopper

Challenging notions about cultural transmission

handheld chopper rockEvery day students, faculty, staff and administrators throughout Washington State University process a vast torrent of messages. Between lectures, reading assignments, tweets, texts, emails, advertisements, news stories and casual conversations, they’re processing countless discrete pieces of socially transmitted information. Much of this information is so advanced that Cougs can go on to breed new species of grain, track unappreciated sources of greenhouse gas and study the winds on Saturn.

Anthropologists call this process cultural transmission, and there was a time when it did not exist, when humans or more likely their smaller brained ancestors did not pass on knowledge. » More …