The Creative Spark

The Creative Spark

How Imagination Made Humans Exceptional

eBook - 2017
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A bold new synthesis of paleontology, archaeology, genetics, and anthropology that overturns misconceptions about race, war and peace, and human nature itself, answering an age-old question: What made humans so exceptional among all the species on Earth' Creativity. It is the secret of what makes humans special, hiding in plain sight. Agustin Fuentes argues that your child's finger painting comes essentially from the same place as creativity in hunting and gathering millions of years ago, and throughout history in making war and peace, in intimate relationships, in shaping the planet, in our communities, and in all of art, religion, and even science. It requires imagination and collaboration. Every poet has her muse; every engineer, an architect; every politician, a constituency. The manner of the collaborations varies widely, but successful collaboration is inseparable from imagination, and it brought us everything from knives and hot meals to iPhones and interstellar spacecraft. Weaving fascinating stories of our ancient ancestors' creativity, Fuentes finds the patterns that match modern behavior in humans and animals. This key quality has propelled the evolutionary development of our bodies, minds, and cultures, both for good and for bad. It's not the drive to reproduce; nor competition for mates, or resources, or power; nor our propensity for caring for one another that have separated us out from all other creatures. As Fuentes concludes, to make something lasting and useful today you need to understand the nature of your collaboration with others, what imagination can and can't accomplish, and, finally, just how completely our creativity is responsible for the world we live in. Agustin Fuentes's resounding multimillion-year perspective will inspire readers-and spark all kinds of creativity.
Publisher: New York, New York : Dutton, Penguin Random House, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC, [2017]
ISBN: 9781101983959
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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Sep 19, 2017

He claims we succeeded because we had/have imagination, a mysterious creative spark, through socialization. But he doesn't show why only we developed both.
All the other hominid species of prehistoric times were subject to the same evolutionary pressures, so why didn't any of them at least discover our trick, develop bigger brains???
A thoroughly conventional analysis, worth reading only if you wanted to update yourself on the current state of paleontology, although all you need to know is that every decade or so a new dig finds a new set of far older bones, and our start is set back thousands of years more.


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