19 March 2010

The Nature of the Beast?

Some researchers say that shift was rooted in a glitch in humanity’s primal circuitry, one that caused people to mistakenly treat strangers as relatives. Others think it’s a holdover of Stone Age-style thinking — that deep in our brains we see everyone we meet as part of our tiny family, and can’t imagine encountering someone who won’t ever be seen again.

That’s not what Henrich’s team thinks. To them, fairness between strangers at the individual level is what allows social organisms to thrive, and to out-compete more selfish societies.

From that perspective, fairness-promoting social norms and informal institutions — markets and religion — are an inevitable evolutionary step.
It seems that some of us are a little more "evolved" than others.

What's up with that?


syncrodox said...

But..but...all cultures are equal.


Neo Conservative said...

i guess that's one... fuzzy-bunny, lilac fragranced, candied unicorn... theory.