This book is both an introduction and an original contribution to a study of the major evolutionary events, from the orgin of life to the emerence of the human mind. Assuming no background of the reader in biology, anthropology, or psychology, the author coordinates state-of-the-art evidence to argue for the naturalness of human evolution. Self-contained sections persuasively outline the origin of our moral nature, our artistic and creative talents, and the biological interdependece of language and thought. The evidence from both prehistory and neuroscience is set out in a way which both explains and celebrates human achievements -- offering a challenge to impoverished 'deterministic' theories of human nature.
Throughout the text, the author balances the scientific material with a questioning, philosophical approach, and the reader will find an invitation on virtually every page to become engaged in whatever intellectual puzzles may arise. The evolutionary problem, morevoer, provides a context in which major issues in contemporary philosophy of science are delineated.