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 Even in the fossil remains of the earliest lifeforms, there is unmistakable evidence of communal living arrangements and mutual cooperation. We humans have been able to design effective cultures that for hundreds of thousands of years have fostered one set of inborn characteristics and discouraged another. From brain anatomy, human behavior, personal introspection, the annals of recorded history, the fossil record, DNA sequencing, and the behavior of our closest relatives, a clear lesson emerges: There is more than one side to human nature. If our greater intelligence is the hallmark of our species, then we should use it as all the other beings use their distinctive advantages--to help ensure that their offspring prosper and their heredity is passed on. It is our business to understand that some predilections we bear as remnants of our evolutionary history, when coupled with our intelligence--especially with intelligence in the subordinate role--might threaten our future. Our intelligence is imperfect, surely, and newly arisen; the ease with which it can be sweet-talked, overwhelmed, or subverted by other hardwired propensities--sometimes themselves disguised as the cool light of reason--is worrisome. But if intelligence is our only edge, we must learn to use it better, to sharpen it, to understand its limitations and deficiencies--to use it as cats use stealth, as walking sticks use camouflage, to make it the tool of our survival. (119)

Africa

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Southwest Asia

 

Egypt

 

Indus Valley

 

China

 

Europe

 

South America

 

Mesoamerica

 

North America

 

Other