Books et al.Evolution

High fidelity

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Science  26 May 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6340, pp. 810
DOI: 10.1126/science.aan2473

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Despite ardently defending his theory of natural selection, Alfred Russel Wallace felt that evolution alone could not account for our species' unique features, including our big brains, mental abilities and moral sentiments. In the past decade, a new hypothesis has matured that suggests that another "power" may indeed have helped drive natural selection in humans, although it is rather different from the one Wallace imag­ined. In Darwin’s Unfinished Symphony, Kevin Laland makes a powerful case that what began as a small increase in the fidelity of social learning may have made all the difference in human evolution.