"The question I pose is whether historians and social scientists have much to gain from models of cultural evolution that treat cultural change as a kind of selection process. Can such models provide a unifying paradigm for the social sciences that plays the same role in the study of human culture that models of biological evolution play in biology as a whole?
As an explanatory theory of human behavior, dynamical models of cultural evolution and social learning hold more promise of success than models based on rational choice. Under the right conditions, evolutionary models supply a rationale for Nash equilibrium that rational choice theory is hard pressed to deliver. Furthermore, in cases with multiple symmetrical Nash equilibria, the dynamic models offer a plausible, historically path-dependent model of equilibrium selection. In conditions, such as those of correlated encounters, where the evolutionary dynamic theory is structurally at odds with the rational choice theory, the evolutionary theory provides the best account of human behavior."