This review of basic evolutionary concepts and issues provides a background for the dual coding interpretation of cognitive evolution in subsequent chapters. The general assumption is that, throughout most of its history, cognitive evolution was founded on the same Darwinian principles as biological evolution. However, the explosive development of human mind over the last 100,000 years is often attributed to cultural evolution and it is therefore important to consider how such evolution might depart from Darwinian evolutionary principles. The topics include the following: (a) a sketch of Darwinian evolution, 27 (b) the distinction between evolution of structure and of function, (c) ways in which environment and heredity interact, (d) the kinds of evidence on which speculations about evolution of mind are based, (e) cultural evolution, and finally, (f) the novel hypothesis that memory is the engine of cognitive evolution from its preverbal form through language and beyond.