Culture is driven by evolution

Biology's false binary

The debate over whether it is evolution or culture that shapes human behaviour is one of the biggest in modern science. Yet, amidst these discussions, a more nuanced perspective emerges: there is no division between ‘evolution’ and ‘culture’ – culture itself is part of our evolutionary story, argues Ruth Mace.

This article is presented in association with Closer To Truth, an esteemed partner for the 2024 HowTheLightGetsIn Festival.


This question is taboo in university anthropology departments; many of them dissolved into acrimony debating if culture or evolution drives human behaviour.  Some universities decided to split their anthropology departments, with social or cultural anthropology in one building, and evolutionary anthropologists elsewhere.  In my own department, we agree to

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