Why is legacy important to human development?

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Jessica Pope eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Legacy refers to the total sum of knowledge and skills passed down from generation to generation through the mechanism of culture. Legacy is important to human development because it facilitates cultural evolution. For example, modern stories -- from Star Wars to the Lion King -- are rooted in themes and plot lines as old as Shakespeare. Scientific developments such as stem cell therapy are based on the legacy left by early geneticists like Gregor Mendel. Our ability to retain, archive, and transmit our collective legacy is critical to our continued survival and development.