The present essay compares two books dealing with the evolution of human mental abilities. Agustín Fuentes’ The Creative Spark focuses on creativity. Fuentes argues that creativity is the central element that makes human uniqueness, and highlights continuity between modern examples of creativity and early forms of human creative behaviour. Mark Maslin’s The Cradle of Humanity discusses the role of East Africa’s climate in increasing the intelligence of humans. To understand this role, Maslin combines geological and climatic data with the latest discoveries in human evolution and palaeontology. The essay compares the books’ content as well as their tone, and concludes on whether they might inspire future research on human evolution.