The capacity to imagine nonexistent things was the key to everything, for it allowed them to communicate better.

“In his book Sapiens, historian Yuval Harari posits that our ancestors’ capacity to imagine nonexistent things was the key to everything, for it allowed them to communicate better. Before this change, they could only trust people from their immediate family or tribe. Afterward their trust extended to larger communities, bound by common fantasies (for example, belief in invisible yet imaginable deities, in the afterlife, and in the divinity of the leader) and expectations.”

I was reading a comment to a post on the web and when I read the word primitive, the quote above jumped to mind. It is interesting how we evolved to trust each other further than we can throw a stone.  We placed confidence on those who shared our ideas, ideals, values and hopes.

This article first appeared here, based on:

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from “The Book of Why: The New Science of Cause and Effect” by Judea Pearl, Dana Mackenzie

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