The Creative Spark by Agustín Fuentes
How Imagination Made Humans Exceptional

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In the tradition of Jared Diamond’s million-copy-selling classic Guns, Germs, and Steel, 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. Agustín 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. Agustín Fuentes's resounding multimillion-year perspective will inspire readers—and spark all kinds of creativity.

About Agustín Fuentes

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Agustín Fuentes is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of Evolution of Human Behavior, Biological Anthropology: Concepts and Connections and Core Concepts in Biological Anthropology.
Published March 21, 2017 by Dutton. 352 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Professional & Technical, Science & Math. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Creative Spark

The best types of private sites run are by folks who document where their information comes from (so we can check it out) and connect the readers to original research or documentation of events that inspired the blogs and stories.

Nov 29 2016 | Read Full Review of The Creative Spark: How Imagi...

The scientific data on human genetic variation and human evolution refute the claims there are multiple biological races in humans today and in the debate I offered articles, datasets, and work by biologists, geneticists, evolutionary theorists and even anthropologists to demonstrate this.

May 13 2014 | Read Full Review of The Creative Spark: How Imagi...

According to Valian, men and women alike have implicit hypotheses about gender differences — gender schemas — that create small sex differences in characteristics, behaviors, perceptions, and evaluations of men and women.

May 24 2012 | Read Full Review of The Creative Spark: How Imagi...