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Science History Podcast

Dec 11, 2022

For thousands of years, scholars have struggled with what it means to be human. One critical dimension of humanity is foresight, and with us to decipher the evolution of foresight is Thomas Suddendorf. Thomas is a professor at the University of Queensland, where he investigates mental capacities in young children and in animals to answer fundamental questions about the nature and evolution of the human mind. Thomas is the author of over 140 research articles and two books: The Gap: The science of what separates us from other animals, published in 2013 by Basic Books, and The invention of tomorrow: a natural history of foresight (with co-authors Jonathan Redshaw and Adam Bulley), published in 2022, also by Basic Books.  Today we discuss archaeological finds related to stone tools, fire, hunting, ornaments, containers, burial, watercraft, maps, music, and storytelling - and what they tell us about the evolution of foresight.