Culture and Co-operation,
This review is from: Wired for Culture: The Natural History of Human Cooperation (Hardcover)
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The history of human culture is less than 100,000 years old. When modern type humans left Africa they brought with them a good deal of social baggage. The ability to transmit knowledge, beliefs and practices is as important as the ability to out-compete other groups. Co-operation in small groups of hunter gathers was the key to survival in the Ice Ages and the trigger for expansion into a wide variety of environments.
These small groups established their own cultures, languages and patterns of behaviour. This explains the tribal attitudes we now have. It is the ability to remember, no matter how inaccurately, what out cultural history is. The Author argues that culture is responsible for language, intelligence and conciousness, rather than those leading to culture. This is an intriguing argument and one which points a way forward. It explains why we display so many aspects of tribal behaviour and rejoice in our differences. Knowing why we act in this way should enable us to better co-operate with other cultures and individuals outside our own culture.