Update to debate over cultural evolution: ‘1491’ author Charles C. Mann responds

The author of 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, Charles C. Mann, has just responded to Frances Widdowson’s lengthy refutation of his historiography concerning the ancient Indigenous site of Cahokia, part of what’s become a larger debate over competing notions of ‘cultural evolution’ in our new AGENDA INDIGENA section:

[I]t is Dr. Widdowson, not me, who wishes to deny that native cultures evolved and grew. It is Dr. Widdowson, not me, who wishes to deny that they were able to learn and change. It is Dr. Widdowson, not me, who apparently believes that the collective imagination of millions of people over thousands of years failed to come up with a single innovation not previously conjured up in Europe. Why she should think that her views count as an argument for “cultural evolution” is baffling.

If you are new to this debate — one that started back in May — you can also check it out from the beginning and get caught up.

[ Image of Cahokia artifact via design-tube.ru ]

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