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A Tale of Ex-Apes

Whence Wisdom?

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Evolution leaves two patterns in nature simultaneously: continuity (i.e., descent) and discontinuity (i.e., modification). In narrating the evolution of our species, we tend to privilege continuity at the expense of discontinuity, for reasons having in part to do with our historical engagement with creationist interlocutors, and to the cultural status ascribed to genetics. In this paper, I will explore the emergence of the imaginary – the universe of metaphors, possible futures, symbolic meanings, remote ancestors, spirits, magic, and most importantly, stories – as a crucial element in human evolution. The emergence of wisdom might be considered as the ability to navigate successfully in a largely fictive domain of relatedness, obligation, and morality.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 June 2016

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  • Philosophy, Theology and the Sciences (PTSc) is a new peer-reviewed biannual journal which provides a platform for constructive and critical interactions between the natural sciences in all their varieties (from physics and biology to psychology, anthropology and social science) and the fields of contemporary philosophy and theology. It invites scholars, religious or non-religious, to participate in that endeavor. The journal provides the rare opportunity to examine together the truth claims found in theology, philosophy, and the sciences, as well as the methods found in each disciplines and the meanings derived from them. Each issue will have a topical focus.
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