It seems obvious that there are certain traditions which work to improve the survival of the culture in which they exist. It seems equally obvious that some traditions are pointless. How do we tell the difference? As it turns out it may be harder and take longer than you think. Also reason might help you less than you think. In this episode I consider four factors which might be helpful:
- The duration of the tradition. How long has it been around?
- The strength of enforcement for the tradition. How severe are the penalties for going against it?
- The frequency of the tradition among the various cultures. How widespread is it? Is it present in many different cultures?
- The domain of the tradition. Is the tradition related to something which could impact survival or reproduction?