Authors Archives: Stephen Davies

Music, Fire, and Evolution


In a recent book, Aniruddh Patel argues that music behaviors are not adaptations; they are, like the control of fire, culturally propagated technologies. I critically examine both views. Patel unduly exaggerates differences he finds between music and language in arguing that only the latter is an adaptation. And there are significant differences between music behaviors and fire control, such that if the latter is a technology, it is not clear that the former is.

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