Author: Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods
Brief Info: Professor of evolutionary anthropology
What allowed us to thrive while other humans went extinct was a kind of cognitive superpower: a particular type of friendliness called cooperative communication. We are experts at working together with other people, even strangers. We can communicate with someone we've never met about a shared goal and work together to accomplish it.
From the book Survival of the Friendliest: Understanding our Origins and Rediscovering our Common Humanity
An ultracultural species is born
topics: cultural evolution
Domesticating a wolf brain or an ape brain is impressive. But when you domesticate a human brain – this is when the real magic begins. An ultracultural species is born. A unique type of friendliness must have evolved in our species that allowed for larger group sizes, higher population densities, and more amicable relations between neighboring groups that in turn created larger social networks. This encouraged the transmission of more innovations between more innovators. Cultural ratcheting went from slow and sporadic to fast and furious. The result was exponential growth in technology and the emergence of behavioral modernity.