art and the Pleistocene era


Contrary to what you might have heard from creationists or advocates of so-called intelligent design, evolution isn’t just a theory. It’s something special—something that explains and is corroborated by the world’s fossil evidence, by zoological and botanical research, and by our ever more detailed understanding of natural selection and genetics. Like any scientific account, the theory of evolution could in principle be overturned. But there is no serious competition in the field—no plausible alternative explanation that fits the facts to a fraction of this degree. So it’s true, too, that art must have a basis in our genes. Everything does. In The Art Instinct, however, Denis Dutton—the philosopher and creator of one of the most popular sites on the internet, Arts and Letters Daily—goes several steps farther. “In this book,” he explains, “I intend to show why thinking that the arts are beyond the reach of evolution is a mistake overdue for correction.”

more from Prospect Magazine here.