What OKManders said.
To understand a sociological group or a part of their history completely, you have to take into account all factors that would influence the group behavior of the time, including religion, popular culture, technological advancements, climate, etc.
For example, Europeans were leery of the potato and tomato when they were brought from the New World back to Europe. Why? They're harmless foods, right? Well, when you understand that they are both part of the nightshade family, and don't grow in Europe naturally, then you would see that, to the European seeing them for the first time, they were obviously poison, just like the nightshade they'd been using for centuries to off people. Conversely, the natives of the Americas were shocked to see guns and horses and thought the Spaniards gods for having them, when they aere actually just more technologically advanced.
at 11:26 AM on Jan. 10, 2011