Quirks & Quarks

The Secret of our Success

Dr. Joseph Henrich builds the case that social learning and cultural evolution have co-evolved with our biology and made humans the success we are.

Cultural Evolution, not innate intelligence, is what makes humans unique

Dr. Joseph Henrich (centre, kneeling) and his team doing field-work in Fiji (Mereani Tuidama)
Humans are the most successful species on the planet - well, maybe after the ants - and we generally give the credit to our large brains, and our individual intelligence.
But in a new book, Dr. Joseph Henrich, a professor of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University, says that individually humans aren't really that special. He makes the case that it's our collective intelligence - our culture - enabled by our unique ability to learn from each other - that's driven our biological evolution, and that's really behind our unique success.

Dr. Henrich's book is called, The Secret of Our Success - How Culture is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating our Species, and Making us Smarter.

Related Links

- The Secret of Our Success
- Dr. Henrich's interview at Edge.org