Merlin Donald does not use the term co-evolution
in this strictly biological sense when he writes:
Our brain has developed in co-evolution with culture (p.15)
In Donald’s work, it is not an issue of two independent creatures or of mutual selection pressure but rather a mutual benefit of culture and brain. If culture, like the brain, were a human organ, we could speak of a symbiosis. Regardless of the terms, it is clear what Donald means.
According to his hypothesis, the human brain has developed together with human culture; brain and culture are dependent on each other. Donald can rely thereby on Charles Darwin, who explained in the Descent of Man: :
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A great step in the development of intellect must have taken place as soon as semi-artificial and semi-intuitive language were used; for the constant use of language will have had an effect on the brain and produced a hereditary effect; and this in turn will have benefited the perfection of language.