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The knowledge instinct is a fundamental mechanism of the mind that drives evolution of higher cognitive functions. Neural modeling fields and dynamic logic describe it mathematically and relate to language, concepts, emotions, and behavior. Perception and cognition, consciousness and unconsciousness, are described, while overcoming past mathematical difficulties of modeling intelligence. The two main aspects of the knowledge instinct determining evolution are differentiation and synthesis. Differentiation proceeds from and unconscious states to more crisp and conscious, from less knowledge to more knowledge; it separates concepts from emotions, Its main mechanism is language. Synthesis strives to achieve unity and meaning of knowledge; it is necessary for resolving contradictions, concentrating will and for purposeful actions. Synthesis connects language and cognition. Its main mechanisms are emotionality of languages and the hierarchy of the mind. Differentiation and synthesis are in complex relationship of symbiosis and opposition. This Leads to complex dynamics of evolution of consciousness and languages. Its mathematical modeling predicts evolution of cultures. We discuss existing evidence and future research directions.