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Table 1 General characteristics of genetic and cultural evolution (adapted from [9, 12])

From: Evolutionary ethnobiology and cultural evolution: opportunities for research and dialog

Evolution type/characteristics Human genetic evolution (neo-Darwinian) Human cultural evolution (Darwinian)
Evolutionary time Usually thousands of years Short time intervals, may occur within a few years
Variation Random but some regions of DNA are more susceptible to mutation than others Can be random or voluntarily guided by learning rules
Competition Differential fitness of different alleles Differential fitness of different cultural traits
Heredity Parental
Information storage structure (genotype) is transmitted
Parental or non-parental
Information expression (equivalent to a phenotype) is transmitted