Continuing the discussion from Did humans leave Africa earlier than previously thought? Discovery of ancient tools in China:
Has anyone had a chance to look into this book? It was recommended by Darrel Falk.
From what I gather, It supports @Agauger view and @Patrick’s contention that “humanity” arose a long time ago with Homo erectus. It also supports a notion of the Fall connected to the rise of civilization. Recently, I think this book correctly argues, we see the origin of war and an increase in violence. Before that point, however, violence was reduced and it was a much different, and generally more balanced, sort of world.
This story runs the risk of the “noble savage” fallacy, but it also my be well grounded. I’m curious if anyone has read this book and can comment more.
According to Fuentes (Chair, Anthropology/Univ. of Notre Dame), an essential component of human nature is our ability to work the trove of materials made available to us by virtue of our “symbolic inheritance.” Our creativity is thereby an essential component of what makes us human; so, too, is our ability to work together in creative ways for creative ends, for what the author calls a “cocktail of creativity and collaboration.” The condensed tail of evolution, in that scheme, has a vulnerable gaggle of newly terrestrial simians figuring out how to fend off hunger, predation, illness, and other threats existential and otherwise while filling our lives with meaning and hope, allowing our kind “to reshape their world, thereby reshaping themselves.” It’s a pleasing vision and one decidedly more optimistic than the naked-ape-with-guns portraits of a past generation of anthropologists. Still, it’s one that requires only a few case studies to wrap up, and regrettably, part of the author’s creativity turns on saying the same thing in numerous ways, with multiple variations on that trope that working together is a good thing and one that distinguishes us from other animals, which “do some ratcheting and scaffolding, but…lack the human combination of discovery, innovation, cooperation, and information transfer.” The diverse studies in creativity are good ones, though, encompassing everything from conflict resolution to learning how to use fire to cook—not just red meat, but fish and vegetables as well. Fuentes frowns on a few predictable things, like racism and war, but also on the paleo diet.
THE CREATIVE SPARK by Agustín Fuentes | Kirkus Reviews
I also wonder if this fits @kkeathley’s advice to us: