Earth is the planet where the most complex creativity of which we are aware has taken place; and on this Earth, the most complex creative thing known to us is the human mind. John Maynard Smith and Eörs Szathmáry analyze “the major transitions in evolution” with the resulting complexity, asking, “how and why this complexity has increased in the course of evolution.” “Our thesis is that the increase has depended on a small number of major transitions in the way in which genetic information is transmitted between generations.” Critical innovations have included “the origin of the genetic code itself,” “the origin of eukaryotes from prokaryotes,” “meiotic sex,” “multicellular life,” “animal societies,” and especially “the emergence of human language with a universal grammar and unlimited semantic representation,” this last innovation making possible human culture (1995, pp. 3, 14).


Human Mind Evolutionary Psychology Human Language Taxi Driver Vervet Monkey 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Barrow, J.D. and Tipler, F.J. 1986. The Anthropic Cosmological Principle. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Bear, M.F., Connors, B.W., and Paradiso, M.A. 2001. Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain, 2nd ed. Baltimore: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.Google Scholar
  3. Boyd, R. and Richerson, P.J. 1985. Culture and the Evolutionary Process. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  4. Braitenberg, V. and Schüz, A. 1998. Cortex: Statistics and Geometry of Neuronal Connectivity, 2nd ed. NewYork: Springer.Google Scholar
  5. Buss, D. 1989. Sex differences in human mate preferences: evolutionary hypotheses tested in 37 cultures. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 12, 1–49.Google Scholar
  6. Buss, D. et al. 1990. International preferences in selecting mates: a study of 37 cultures. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 21, 5–47.Google Scholar
  7. Cheney, D.L. and Seyfarth, R.M. 1990. How Monkeys See the World. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  8. Chomsky, N. 1986. Knowledge of Language: Its Nature, Origin, and Use. New York: Praeger Scientific.Google Scholar
  9. Christiansen, M.H. and Kirby, S. 2003. Language evolution: the hardest problem in science?, in M.H. Christiansen and S. Kirby (eds.), Language Evolution. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 1–15.Google Scholar
  10. Cosmides, L., Tooby, J., and Barkow, J.H. 1992. Introduction: evolutionary psychology and conceptual integration, in Jerome H. Barkow, Leda Cosmides, and John Tooby (eds.), The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of Culture. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 3–15.Google Scholar
  11. de Duve, Christian, 1995. Vital Dust: Life as a Cosmic Imperative. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  12. Delbrück, M. 1978. Mind from Matter? American Scholar, 47, 339–353.Google Scholar
  13. —. 1986. Mind from Matter: An Essay on Evolutionary Epistemology. Palo Alto, CA: Blackwell Scientific.Google Scholar
  14. Dennett, D.C. 1987. The Intentional Stance. Cambridge, MA:The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  15. de Waal, F.B.M. 1999. Cultural primatology comes of age. Nature399 (June 17), 635–636.Google Scholar
  16. Dickson, B.J. 2002. Molecular mechanisms of axon guidance. Science, 298, 1959–1964.Google Scholar
  17. Dobzhansky, T. 1956. The Biological Basis of Human Freedom. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Dobzhansky, T., 1963, Anthropology and the natural sciences: the problem of human evolution. Current Anthropology,4, 138, 146–148.Google Scholar
  19. Draganski, B., Gaser, C., Busch, V., Schuierer, G., Bogdahn, U., and May, A. 2004. Changes in grey matter induced by training. Nature, 427 ( January 22), 311–312.Google Scholar
  20. Durham, W.H. 1991. Coevolution: Genes, Culture, and Human Diversity. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Elbert, T., Pantev, C., Wienbruch, C., Rockstroh, B., and Taub, E. 1995. Increased cortical representation of the fingers of the left hand in string players. Science, 270 (October 13), 305–307.Google Scholar
  22. Enard, W. et al. 2002. Intra- and interspecific variation in primate gene expression patterns. Science, 296 (April 12), 340–343.Google Scholar
  23. Flanagan, O. 1992. Consciousness Reconsidered. Cambridge, MA:The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  24. Galef, B.G., Jr. 1992.The question of animal culture. Human Nature, 3 (no. 2), 157–178.Google Scholar
  25. Gibbons, A. 1998.Which of our genes make us human? Science, 281 (September 4), 1432–1434.Google Scholar
  26. Hamer, D. 2002. Rethinking behavior genetics. Science, 298 (October 4), 71–72.Google Scholar
  27. Harcourt, A.H. and Stewart, K.J. 2001. Vocal relationships of wild mountain gorillas, in Martha M. Robbins, Pascale Sicotte, and Kelly J. Stewart (eds.), Mountain Gorillas:Three Decades of Research at Karisoke. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 241–262.Google Scholar
  28. Hauser, M.D., Chomsky, N., and Fitch, W.T. 2002.The faculty of language:What is it, who has it, and how did it evolve? Science, 298 (November 22), 1569–1579.Google Scholar
  29. Koch, C. and Laurent, G. 1999. Complexity and the nervous system. Science, 284 (April 2), 96–98.Google Scholar
  30. Kroeber, A.L. and Kluckhohn, C. 1963. Culture:A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions. New York: Vintage Books, Random House.Google Scholar
  31. Lewontin, R.C. 1972.The apportionment of human diversity. Evolutionary Biology, 6, 381–398.Google Scholar
  32. —. 1982. Human Diversity. San Francisco:W. H. Freeman.Google Scholar
  33. —. 1991. Biology as Ideology:The Doctrine of DNA. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.Google Scholar
  34. Luna, B., Krista E. Garver, Trinity A. Urban, Nicole A. Lazar, and John A. Sweeney. 2004. Maturation of cognitive processes from late childhood to adulthood. Child Development, 75, 1357–1372.Google Scholar
  35. Maguire, E.A. et al. 2000. Navigation-related structural change in the hippocampi of taxi drivers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 97 (no. 8), 4398–4403.Google Scholar
  36. Marks, J. 2002. What It Means to be 98% Chimpanzee:Apes, People, and their Genes. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  37. Maynard Smith, J. and Szathmáry, E. 1995. The Major Transitions in Evolution. New York:W. H. Freeman.Google Scholar
  38. Mayr, E. 1988. Toward a New Philosophy of Biology. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  39. —. 1994. Does it pay to acquire high intelligence? Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 37, 337–338.Google Scholar
  40. Mead, M. 1959, 1989. Preface, in Ruth Benedict, Patterns of Culture. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, pp. xi–xiv.Google Scholar
  41. Mechelli, A. et al. 2004. Structural plasticity in the bilingual brain. Nature, 431 (October 14), 757.Google Scholar
  42. Merzenich, M. 2001.The power of mutable maps, box essay, p. 418, in Bear, Connors, and Paradiso.Google Scholar
  43. Orten, J.M. and Neuhaus, O.W. 1982. Human Biochemistry, 10th ed. St. Louis: C.V. Mosby Co.Google Scholar
  44. Pantev, C., Oostenveld, R., Engellien, A., Ross, B., Roberts, L.E., and Hoke, M. 1998. Increased auditory cortical representation in musicians. Nature, 392 (April 23), 811–814.Google Scholar
  45. Potts, R. 2004. Sociality and the concept of culture in human origins, in Robert W. Sussman and Audrey R. Chapman (eds.), The Origins and Nature of Sociality. New York: Aldine de Gruyter, pp. 249–269.Google Scholar
  46. Premack, D. 2004. Is language the key to human intelligence?. Science, 303 ( January 16), 318–320.Google Scholar
  47. Rendell, L. and Whitehead, H. 2001. Culture in whales and dolphins. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 24, 309–382.Google Scholar
  48. Runciman, W.G., Maynard Smith, J., and Dunbar, R.I.M. 1996. Evolution of Social Behaviour Patterns in Primates and Man. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  49. Sterelny, K. 1995.The adapted mind. Biology and Philosophy, 10, 365–380.Google Scholar
  50. Symons, D. 1992. On the use and misuse of Darwinism in the study of human behavior, in Jerome H. Barkow, Leda Cosmides, and John Tooby (eds.), The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of Culture. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 137–159.Google Scholar
  51. Tomasello, M., Kruger, A.C., and Ratner, H.H. 1993. Cultural learning. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 16, 495–552.Google Scholar
  52. Tooby, J. and Cosmides, L. 1992.The psychological foundations of culture, in Jerome H. Barkow, Leda Cosmides, and John Tooby (eds.), The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of Culture. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 19–136.Google Scholar
  53. Tylor, E.B. 1903. Primitive Cultures, 4th ed., 2 vols. London: John Murray.Google Scholar
  54. Venter, J.C. et al. 2001.The sequence of the human genome. Science, 291 (February 16), 1304–1351.Google Scholar
  55. Wade, N. 2001. Genome’s riddle: few genes, much complexity. New York Times(February 13), D1, D4.Google Scholar
  56. Washburn, S.L. 1978.Animal behavior and social anthropology, in Michael S. Gregory, Anita Silvers, and Diane Sutch (eds.), Sociobiology and Human Nature. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, pp. 53–74.Google Scholar
  57. Wiener, N. 1948. Cybernetics. New York: John Wiley.Google Scholar
  58. Wigner, E.P. 1960. The unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in the natural sciences.Communications on Pure and Applied Mathematics, 13, 1–14.Google Scholar
  59. Wildman, D.E., Uddin, M., Liu, G., Grossman, L.I., and Goodman, M. 2003. Implications of natural selection in shaping 99.4% nonsynonymous DNA identity between humans and chimpanzees: enlarging genus Homo. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 100, 7181–7188.Google Scholar
  60. Wilson, D.S. 2002. Darwin’s Cathedral: Evolution, Religion, and the Nature of Society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  61. Wilson, E.O., 1978. On Human Nature. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  62. Wrangham, R.W., McGrew, W.C., de Waal, F.B.M., and Heltne, P.G. (eds.) 1994. Chimpanzee Cultures. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kelly Bulkeley 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Holmes RolstonIII

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations