Social organization and natural selection · Definitions and examples · The mysterious persistence · Some do want more than adequacy

What are some social organizations that have been eliminated by “natural selection”? Was the Roman Empire a victim of “natural selection”? What about the feudal system of Europe?

Are there are any absolute monarchs left or has that species become extinct?

Words often have many shades of meaning. How would you define the word lifestyle as it’s used in Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous?

Elsewhere [in My Ishmael] Quinn has written that “the word culture is like a chameleon. It has no color of its own but rather takes color from its setting. It means one thing when you talk about the culture of chimpanzees, another when you talk about the culture of General Motors.” Is his definition of culture eccentric or is it close to definitions from other sources?

If it’s true that the worldview of our historians is “fundamentally Aristotelian” rather than “fundamentally Darwinian,” how would you account for this?

People who are opposed to protecting endangered species often argue in a way that implies that any species that isn’t invulnerable deserves to disappear. Discuss this in terms of Quinn’s statement that nothing evolution brings forth is perfect. Would invulnerability be a trait of perfection?