The Evolution of Human Motivations

An AI-Illustrated Odyssey

Non-Fiction - Health - Medical
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 02/20/2024
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite

Dr. John V. Wylie's book, The Evolution of Human Motivations, comprises two components: AI-crafted artistry and original written reflections. In the literary portion, Wylie explores areas like severe mental illnesses' link to primal social emotions and offers insight into our shared human condition through an evolutionary lens. Wylie questions traditional biochemical and genetic explanations of mental health issues, offering an alternative perspective. He analyzes collective intentionality theory, teamwork's importance, and supporting evidence like bipedalism. Wylie proposes that social anxieties enhance morality, which is crucial for societal cohesion. He points out that throughout evolution, collaboration prevailed over individual strength and notes a correlation between increased brain size and family structure and how social and sexual selection influenced evolution, shaping physical traits and social behavior. Throughout, Wylie's written portion leans into an understanding of humanity's collective consciousness journey.

The second component of The Evolution of Human Motivations by Dr. John V. Wylie makes the book as a whole stand out. Every piece of Wylie's writing is accompanied by a full-color and wholly AI-created illustration. A palette of earth tones is interspersed with punches of primary hues, and the overall look has the feel of contemporary animation. Some of the detailing is incredible, with the standout to me being about the collective colonization of the human brain, in which a collection of Hominoidea are grouped around a giant head, and inside is a skewed, artistic rendering of the March of Progress. This is later revisited when discussing Desire, Violence and the Emergence of War. The writing itself is intelligent, although I think casual readers may find it academic and above a standard reading level. That said, one of my younger children loved the illustrations and asked me what they meant, which offered an opportunity to explain these to her. It's not often that a kindergartener takes an interest in runaway self-reinforcing feedback loops on account of a swirl of rainbows. Overall, this is a beautifully depicted art collection with thoughtful writing.