CARTA: Is the Human Mind Unique? – Merlin Donald: Skilled Performance and Artistry

6/22/2015; 17 minutes

Merlin Donald (Queen's Univ) opines that if one crucial adaptation had to be singled out as the signature move that started the human journey, he would nominate "mimesis," or body artistry, which is the platform on which all complex skilled performance, including language, has evolved. A capacity for refining skill started to evolve very early in the emergence of hominids, as testified by the existence of very ancient stone tools that predate the appearance of our species. Such tools cannot be made without a capacity to rehearse systematically and an ability to imagine an idealized performance. (#24984)

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