But back in the late 1970’s, as the ideological battlenheated up, it became increasingly clear that what distressednthe critics of Science for the People, when you cut throughnall the verbiage about racism and social justice, was thenthreat perceived to the core precept of their belief system —nnamely, that there is no human nature, that human behaviornand human social institutions are entirely the product ofneconomic forces and culture; in other words, that humannbeings can be shaped by imposing an ideal social order.nSociobiology seemed to suggest that reality is the other waynaround, that ideal institutions must conform to somenreasonable extent with the biological realities of humannnature.nI’m not sure what it means to win an ideological battle,nbut the more biological viewpoint now prevails. The criticsnare mostly silent. Not only is there a large amount of newnevidence from genetics, neurobiology, anthropology, andnpsychology to support human sociobiology, but it is simply anmore interesting viewpoint to scientists and intellectualsnthan those of the doctrinaire extreme left. And the failure ofnMarxist regimes everywhere has tended to discredit the ideanof humanity as a tabula rasa, the viewpoint favored by thencritics. Ironically, even before the Gorbachev era, sociobiologynwas becoming popular in the Eastern Bloc countriesnand China, and it’s even more favored today.nYet — and this is the point I want to make with referencento my personal experience — the gap between the culturesnremains broad and deep. Few intellectuals and publicnphilosophers have given much thought to the implications ofna human nature evolved by natural selection, a biologicalnheritage that may predestine our self-appraisal and ethics, asnwell as the principal directions of history itself With somenexceptions, most of the voices have been those of scientists,nthough the evidence is very strong that our commonnheredity affects our deepest feelings about sexual preference,nmarriage, childrearing, crime, individual freedom,nmyth, love of nature, the value of religion, and the intuitivenmoral judgments that guide the generation of moral law.nOn the basis of sound research scientists can now say anlot, for example, about the genetic basis of the avoidance ofnincest, the genetic basis of the selection of certain symbolsnand art forms over others, the circumstances under whichnnuclear families give way to extended families and vicenversa, the relation of available resources to sexual behavior,nand many other processes of enduring social concern. Tonthe extent that such knowledge takes hold, I suspect that itnwill confirm some conservative prejudices and some liberalnprejudices, in a surprising patchwork fashion. The intellectualsnwho can bridge the gap and blend science and thenhumanities in this critical area, in an objective and compellingnmanner, may well create a new and more powerful setnof social principles suited to the new scientific and technologicalnage.nThere are two reasons why we’re still nowhere near thisnpoint in intellectual history. The first is that intellectualsnas a whole don’t understand the science, and scientists asna whole don’t care or don’t have the confidence to make theneffort to teach them. The second reason is that the area ofnconcern is in fact technically very difficult, so much so thatnonly a handful of scholars are even working on it in anproductive manner. Let me put it this way: the centralnquestion in the relation of science to the humanities is thenexact mechanism of biocultural evolution. This is also to benregarded as the central question of the social sciences. Bynthe exact mechanism of biocultural evolution I mean thendetailed manner in which biology and culture affect onenanother.nWe all know that culture is learned, but the evidence nownsuggests that the learning process is powerfully shaped bynpast biological evolution. We also know that a great dealn(probably most) of biological evolution peculiar to humannbeings has occurred in the context of culture. The twonprocesses are linked — but how? Most researchers in thisnfield recognize that the key to understanding mechanisms ofnbiocultural evolution must lie in cognitive development, thendevelopment through life of mental processes. These processesnare shaped by the architecture and functioning of thenbrain, which are prescribed in turn by the genes. The genesnfor their part have been put in place by mutations screenednby natural selection, that is, differential survival and reproduction,nin the theater of culture, played out over manyncenturies and millennia.nI won’t burden you here with details of quantitativenmodels linking these two engines of change together.nSuffice it to say that primitive versions exist, but like thenexperimental hot fusion reactors at Princeton and elsewhere,nthey aren’t good enough yet to start yielding significant netnresults. When they do, I suspect they will have a profoundneffect on both science and the humanities.nWe all know that culture is learned, but thenevidence now suggests that the learningnprocess is powerfully shaped by pastnbiological evolution.nI’ll close by coining a phrase: deep history. Deep historynis a reconstruction of our past based on an understanding ofnbiocultural evolution. The human heritage doesn’t go backnjust through the conventionally recognized eight thousandnyears or so of recorded history, but at least to two millionnyears before the present, to the beginnings of the genusnHomo. Culture is profoundly affected by that earlier geneticnprogress. Conversely, genetic evolution might easily havenoccurred even during the past ten thousand years; in theorynat least, substantial amounts of evolution affecting mentalnproperties can occur in as few as one thousand years.nDeep history would have no meaning if the human mindnwere a tabula rasa, an all-purpose computer — the viewnfavored by a dwindling number of social theorists. But it isnnot. To the extent that our biological heritage affects the waynour mind works, and hence the way our societies arenassembled, deep history makes an enormous difference.nFurther research will show, I predict, that there is nondiscontinuity between biological evolution and culturalnevolution. There is only biocultural evolution and a rich,nwonderful domain between science and the humanitiesnwaiting to be explored. <^nnnAPRIL 1990/17n