The Secret of Our Success: How Culture is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter

by Joseph Henrich,
Psychology Today, November 13, 2015

Human beings are smart. But, according to Joseph Henrich, the impact – and import – of the innate intelligence of individuals may be over-rated. In a variety of cognitive tests related to space, quantities, and causality, for example, two and a half year olds did not outperform chimpanzees. Quite often, moreover, European explorers who got lost did not survive. The takeaway, Henrich suggests, is that our species’ uniqueness lies “less in the power of individual minds than in the collective brains of our communities.”

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