Our Big Brains Are Pre-Wired for Love, Friendship, Cooperation, and Learning

WE FINALLY HAVE an answer to the nature/nurture debate, and it appears to be yes.

It took billions of years of biological evolution for bacteria to morph into humanity, but the human ability to learn and to teach each other new tricks means that useful behaviors and ideas don’t have to take biological time to spread through the species. Their emergence, the ways we spread them, and the ways they change over time amount to a kind of cultural evolution.

A cultural discovery—our pre-human predecessors’ capture of fire—externalized the digestive system that evolution had shaped for our variety of ape. That freed biological energy to grow a big brain. In , Nicholas Christakis argues that this coevolution has equipped us with a

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