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The Secret of Our Success: How Culture Is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter by [Henrich, Joseph]
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The Secret of Our Success: How Culture Is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter Kindle Edition


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Length: 456 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English
  • Due to its large file size, this book may take longer to download

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"Thoroughly accessible to lay people and scientists alike, The Secret of Our Success is fascinating and highly recommended for public and college library audiobook collections." ---Midwest Book Review

Product Description

Humans are a puzzling species. On the one hand, we struggle to survive on our own in the wild, often failing to overcome even basic challenges, like obtaining food, building shelters, or avoiding predators. On the other hand, human groups have produced ingenious technologies, sophisticated languages, and complex institutions that have permitted us to successfully expand into a vast range of diverse environments. What has enabled us to dominate the globe, more than any other species, while remaining virtually helpless as lone individuals? This book shows that the secret of our success lies not in our innate intelligence, but in our collective brains—on the ability of human groups to socially interconnect and learn from one another over generations.


Drawing insights from lost European explorers, clever chimpanzees, mobile hunter-gatherers, neuroscientific findings, ancient bones, and the human genome, Joseph Henrich demonstrates how our collective brains have propelled our species' genetic evolution and shaped our biology. Our early capacities for learning from others produced many cultural innovations, such as fire, cooking, water containers, plant knowledge, and projectile weapons, which in turn drove the expansion of our brains and altered our physiology, anatomy, and psychology in crucial ways. Later on, some collective brains generated and recombined powerful concepts, such as the lever, wheel, screw, and writing, while also creating the institutions that continue to alter our motivations and perceptions. Henrich shows how our genetics and biology are inextricably interwoven with cultural evolution, and how culture-gene interactions launched our species on an extraordinary evolutionary trajectory.


Tracking clues from our ancient past to the present, The Secret of Our Success explores how the evolution of both our cultural and social natures produce a collective intelligence that explains both our species' immense success and the origins of human uniqueness.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 18336 KB
  • Print Length: 456 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (27 October 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00WY4OXAS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #239,898 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars 36 reviews
jukka aakula
5.0 out of 5 starsBook of the year 2015 on evolution
22 November 2015 - Published on Amazon.com
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26 people found this helpful.
Tim Tyler
5.0 out of 5 starsSolid book on how culture affected the evolution of human DNA
5 March 2016 - Published on Amazon.com
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13 people found this helpful.

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