The essence of Mithen’s cathedral metaphor — that closed-off sectors of mental life became open to integration, cumulative speculation, and enthusiastic discovery — is most compelling. It surely describes a quantum leap in the flexibility and scope of consciousness that does, indeed, make sense of the cultural explosion of the period 40k to 10k, B.P. One aspect of his theory, however, appears unacceptable in light of the material we have collected, namely that there was ever a time when our ancestors had only general intelligence and no mental modules or archetypes to organize their experience. On purely logical grounds, it makes no sense to think that evolution had to start all over with Homo sapiens and create entirely new archetypes. Our brain is an advanced primate brain, and when we began to walk upright and assemble in larger and larger numbers, we must have had mental modules which were variations on those inherited by our closest relatives among the primates. But even if we set logic aside, the evidence tells us that we share fundamental structures of mind with bees, blackbirds, beavers, and bonobos. excerpt

Archetypal Memory and the Genetic/Darwinian Paradigm (John Ryan Haule)

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