考古学家Philip G. Chase的The Emergence of Culture: The Evolution of a Uniquely Human Way of Life一书旨在通过分析最新的考古发现，来探讨文化的起源时间问题，为此，他首先花了一整章40页的篇幅来厘清gene、meme、行为和文化诸概念的关系，并给出了他自己对文化的定义。
Recall that I use the term “culture” to refer to the totality of three related phenomena:
1. Codes that we create through social interaction inform and govern our behavior. These codes are emergent in character because they cannot be understood without reference to this interaction. The codes do not replace other, private, forms of coding, but are added to them.
2. Such socially created codes not only inform and govern our behavior but also frequently motivate it. Because this potentially leaves individuals open to exploitation by the social group that creates the coding, our willingness to be motivated by socially created coding can be seen as a susceptibility to cultural manipulation.
3. Cultural codes form all-encompassing webs of meanings, values, and dicta that incorporate into themselves almost everything that humans perceive, think, or do. Thus culture forms an inescapable intellectual framework for human life and human action.
We can think of coding in terms of four categories or levels:
1. Coding that is essentially determined genetically. Note that, like all coding, this is something in the brain, not the behavior it produces.
2. Learned coding. Because of the plasticity of their brains, mammals are able to create new codes in response to their interactions with their environments.
3. Socially learned codes. These codes are initially created by one individual through individual learning, but others then learn them from conspecifics, either by observation or through teaching. 4. Codes created through social interaction.