The range of views in popular anthropology could be summarised as a list of hypotheses on where culture comes from. Some views gain dominance in turn, each imposing its paradigm on science or culture, or both. Nature, gods, heroes, ancestors, evolution, technology, Phoenicians, subconscious, secret societies, aliens, mutants, astronomy, drugs, trance, or a super race?
It requires a high population density, specialization, and specialized equipment to turn visions into theory, and tests, and results, applications, technology, production, sales, and profit. Without all these enablers, new knowledge would gain little currency, and remain ‘secret’. Most people, including scientists, see the maturity cycle of material culture as ‘evolution’ in cognitive ability or consciousness, which it is not