Darwin's Unfinished Symphony: How Culture Made the Human Mind


Sep 11, 2018
6.12 x 9.25 in.
13 b/w illus.
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Humans possess an extraordinary capacity for culture, from the arts and language to science and technology. But 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 N. Lala tells the story of the painstaking fieldwork, the key experiments, the false leads, and the stunning scientific breakthroughs that led to this new understanding of how culture transformed human evolution. It is the story of how Darwin’s intellectual descendants picked up where he left off and took up the challenge of providing a scientific account of the evolution of the human mind.

Awards and Recognition

  • Winner of the 2017 British Psychological Society Book Awards, Best Academic Monograph
  • Winner of the 2018 PROSE Award in Biological Science, Association of American Publishers
  • One of’s 10 Best Biology Books of 2017, chosen by GrrlScientist
  • Selected for Askblog’s Books of the year 2017