December 16, 2016

Joseph Henrich on Cultural Evolution, Weird Societies, and Life among Two Strange Tribes

Tyler Cowen

Holbert L. Harris Chair of Economics at George Mason University

To anthropologist Joseph Henrich, intelligence is overrated. Social learning, and its ability to influence biological evolution over time, is what really sets our species apart. He joined Tyler for a conversation on his work on cultural evolution, as well as his life among different tribes (academic and otherwise), Star Trek, big gods, small gods, China’s missing industrial revolution, the merits of coconut milk, the Flynn effect, American exceptionalism, and why he wants to travel in time to 6th-century Kent.