Human beings are fundamentally creatures of culture. The ability to share knowledge, beliefs and skills is the defining characteristic of our species, and one of the most complex phenomena on earth.
Our lives are dictated by the products of culture - such as marriage, money, nationhood - and even wars are fought over it. Science itself is a construction of culture, and natural sciences are the most powerful forms of knowledge we have: from explanations of the origins of the universe to the molecular structure of life. So can the natural sciences be used to understand culture - or should this be left to the 'human sciences': psychology, sociology and anthropology?
Henry Plotkin shows that natural science, in particular evolutionary theory, is in fact essential to exploring our culture. He illustrates how nature and nurture have entwined in the development of human intelligence from its earliest beginnings.