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trait selectionMerkmalsselektion (ger.)

  • The process of differential maintenance and reproduction of traits within a population.
    selection trait fitness

    Societieswith more adaptive culture traits presumably tend to outbreed those with less adaptive traits. Hence, as time passes, societies with more adaptive traits tend to constitute an increasingly larger portion of mankind. To the extent that this population growth is not associated with territorial expansion, but only with increasing population density per square kilometer, population growth constitutes a trait selection mechanism. If such growing societies, more than stable societies, tend to split through dialect differentiation into new societies, then the proportion of societies, as well as the proportion of individual people, bearing these adaptive traits, likewise increases.

    Naroll, R. & Divale, W.T. (1976). Natural selection in cultural evolution. warfare versus peaceful diffusion. Amer. Ethnol. 3, 97-129: 99. 


    Trait fitness and trait selection […] Objects, whether they be genes, organisms, or groups, may change in frequency owing to natural selection. But that these changes in composition occur, owing to selection, leaves open the question of what traits were selected for. In virtue of what did the change occur? Natural selection is selection for traits; the upshot is the selection of objects. The issue of artifact versus cause cannot even be expressed without the idea of selection for properties.

    Sober, E. (1981). Evolutionary theory and the ontological status of properties. Philosophical Studies 40, 147-176: 160; 166.