How do cultures change?

Biologist Richard Dawkins advanced the idea that the meme (from the Greek mimema, meaning "imitated") could be thought of as a unit of cultural information spread by imitation, similar to biological genes.

But there are some problems with the so-called meme theory, and Alan C. Love and William Wimsatt have collected a diverse collection of ideas from a multitude of disciplines, looking at the ways in which cultures are learned, transmitted and evolve.

The warm and whimsical Patrice Johnson recounts her Minnesota childhood as a Catholic kid in a household where children weren't allowed in the kitchen, her "Lutheran envy," and how bacon could perhaps be the key to bringing lutfisk* to new generations.

*Norwegians eat "lutefisk;" Swedes eat "lutfisk." Look it up. 

Cultures define themselves in many ways, frequently with reference to the natural world.

On the surface, it's hard to see that as a bad thing.

But as we delve further into ecology ("a branch of science concerned with the interrelationship of organisms and their environments, the totality or pattern of relations between organisms and their environment"), is the stumbling block to finding answer the way we see nature ... or just human beings?

If families are the building blocks of a community, it makes sense to provide them with support and connectedness to other families.