Friday, 30 September 2016

Joe Henrich: How Culture Is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter

The blurb reads:

The ability of human groups to socially interconnect and learn from one another has allowed us to create ingenious technologies, sophisticated languages, and complex institutions that have enabled successful expansion into myriad environments. Drawing insights from lost European explorers, clever chimpanzees, mobile hunter-gatherers, neuroscience, ancient bones, and the human genome, Joseph Henrich, author of The Secret of Our Success, will discuss how our collective intelligence has propelled our species’ evolution.

Some similar recent book talks:

Also, here are some recent videos relating to evolutionary psychology, most of which feature Joe Henrich:

The Leda Cosmides video is interesting because she responds to the cultural evolution enthusiasts. Leda specialized in culture and evolution, but almost completely missed memetics - adopting a position closely related to Wilson-style sociobiology. It now seems obvious that Darwinian cultural evolution is a very important concept - but Leda missed it. In the video she says the idea makes her "uncomfortable". Rightly so. That's cognitive dissonance for you. Leda Cosmides should say: "how extremely stupid not to have thought of that".

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