New Books Network

Steve Stewart-Williams

The Ape That Understood the Universe

How Mind and Culture Evolve

Cambridge University Press 2018

New Books in AnthropologyNew Books in Gender StudiesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in PsychologyNew Books in ScienceNew Books in Science & TechnologyNew Books in SociologyNew Books Network December 26, 2018 Yael Schonbrun 

In this episode, cross-posted from from the podcast Psychologists Off The Clock, Dr. Yael Schonbrun takes a dive into evolutionary psychology with professor and author,...

In this episode, cross-posted from from the podcast Psychologists Off The Clock, Dr. Yael Schonbrun takes a dive into evolutionary psychology with professor and author, Dr. Steve Stewart-Williams. Steve’s recent book, The Ape That Understood the Universe: How Mind and Culture Evolve (Cambridge University Press, 2018) offers an opportunity to step away from our held understanding of human nature by taking on the alien perspective. Steve’s vast knowledge and wonderful sense of humor will give you new perspectives on emotions and drives, and new ideas to guide values and behaviors. This interview explores such topics as:

  • How Knowledge Of Our “Human Design” Can Help Us To Make Better Choices In Our Everyday Lives
  • How And Why Men And Women Differ In Our Desire For Casual Sex, Our Preferences In Partners, And In Our Preferred Levels Of Parental Investment
  • How Knowing That We Are Not Blank Slates Can Empower Us To Be More Effective In Building Value-Driven Lives

Steve Stewart-Williams is an associate professor of psychology at Nottingham University, Malaysia Campus. His research explores how evolutionary biology can offer insights into the human mind and human behavior and he focuses, in particular, on sex differences and altruism. Steve has written two books, most recently The Ape That Understood the Universe. Go to Steve’s university website or personal website to find out more about his work.


Dr. Yael Schonbrun is a clinical psychologist in private practice, an assistant professor at Brown University, and a co-host of the podcast Psychologists Off The Clock.