15/5/19. Humans possess an extraordinary capacity for cultural production, from
the arts and language to science and technology. How did the human
mind--and the uniquely human ability to devise and transmit
culture--evolve from its roots in animal behavior? Darwin's Unfinished
Symphony presents a captivating new theory of human cognitive evolution.
This compelling and accessible book reveals how culture is not just the
magnificent end product of an evolutionary process that produced a
species unlike all others--it is also the key driving force behind that
process. Kevin Laland shows how the learned and socially transmitted
activities of our ancestors shaped our intellects through accelerating
cycles of evolutionary feedback. The truly unique characteristics of our
species--such as our intelligence, language, teaching, and
cooperation--are not adaptive responses to predators, disease, or other
external conditions. Rather, humans are creatures of their own making.
Drawing on his own groundbreaking research, and bringing it to life with
vivid natural history, Laland explains how animals imitate, innovate,
and have remarkable traditions of their own.
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