We are all brothers and sisters. We are all cut from the same genetic cloth. All of humanity is probably descended from a thousand people, who left Africa roughly 70,000 years ago.
But the corollary of that is that if we are all brothers and sisters and share the same genetic material, all human populations share the same raw human genius, the same intellectual acuity. And so whether that genius is placed into technological wizardry—which has been the great achievement of the West—or by contrast, into unravelling the complex threads of memory inherent in a myth—is simply a matter of choice and cultural orientation.
There is no progression of affairs in human experience. There is no trajectory of progress. There’s no pyramid that conveniently places Victorian England at the apex and descends down the flanks to the so-called primitives of the world. All peoples are simply cultural options, different visions of life itself.
-from Wade Davis’ talk on the worldwide web of belief and ritual