The Evolution of Creativity

 
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papertalker
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:41 pm
PostPost subject: The Evolution of Creativity
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The Evolution of Creativity by Heather Pringle in Scientic American, March 2013, focuses on archaeological discoveries, artifacts, neurons, big brains, social-sharing in bigger groups and concludes with a swooning embrace of all the things filling our lives new fashions, new electronics, new cars, new music, new architecture.

We share our capacity for creativity and innovation with our animal forebears. Inherent in the act of Movement itself is the process of learning and creative impulse. It is from the wellspring of Movement itself that evolution flows and the web of life formed,, and in which creative impulses arose in every living thing. In the emergence and design of flowers that learned to attract the color-loving bee and in the invention of the seed itself; in the creative movement of the bait-like wiggling tongue of the wily snapping turtle; in the artful communication of the feather-like tails of African wild dogs as they signal pack-member position during the hunt; in the changing exterior of chameleon and flounder to match the color and design of their immediate surface-- are the roots and connective cells that have given us life’s legacy of creativity, survival, and adaptation.

While most living things have instinctively self-constrained to live and prosper and contribute, humans have employed creativity in headlong pursuit of unchecked knowledge, expansion, and plunder What we have historically done to our own in the course of history, we are now doing to the planet that gave us life--we are abusing ourselves and our habitat in ways that future generations will surely pay for.

In our mass state, we use poorly thought out, inadequate, ineffective and dysfunctional systems of educating our young. We strip them of creativity as they focus through smart phones we give them to grasp the world they are about to inherit. Their locus of movement--and the range of their imaginations--will be kept small by the massive amount of programmed visual information their brains are exposed to on a daily basis.---a diet that will impede their ability to become self-regulating, self-navigating individuals empowered and confident to think for themselves and re-shape and re-invent.

The very tools we revere are the ones that may ultimately propel our collective brain at full speed ahead to consume, amuse, and ‘connect’ passively in pursuit of the short answer, as opposed to learning to build and think with intentionality, empathy, and productivity. These students won’t need tests or creative, compelling, teachers passionate about thinking and survival. Learning will be drip-fed but only to those whose schools and communities that can afford the digital learning IV solution.

If our kids cannot run and become part of the world early in their over controlled lives, they will not develop the capacity to feel part of it ---on real Earth, developing the character of builders and seekers. The article failed to talk about the springboard of creativity which emerged in mammals thanks to the brain’s ability to re-invent itself. Every living thing is built to move and navigate the world and each wing, antennae, leg that appeared eons before ours became ours by inheritance--each item its own visible evidence of form and function--not including the internals--the biological and neurological architecture of plumbing and electrical wiring stemming from the ultimate back-story structure we call the brain--the thing that guides, controls and supports of the whole--that. looks not one bit like the physical features of our exterior bodies. This funny-looking mass of evolutionary creativity at work is the seat of human innovation--and the inventor of its own last important invention--a creation designed to make us not just smart but wise and civilized. I refer to this thing called Play which Paul D. MacLean called ‘the nicest thing that nature ever did for us.’ Without play, we would walking shells of ourselves. Humans nurtured through Play are fully human--emotive, joyful, reciprocal,--their minds open and receptive to learning. Those who are play-deprived are at risk of doing harm and violence to others.

In humans the impulse and drive to Play has asserted itself in many imaginable ways, but as it has with animals, Play pronounced itself in new expressions and enhancements in human communication. Play figured large in the use of the gesturing hand and symbol--pushing the growth of human audiovocal capacity, spoken and written language--even the ability to point ahead and up into the heavens to eventually create the constellations--came from the inner and outer dimensions of Play--the state of mind in which the brain is fully integrated and engaged. The emotions warm and light cognition--a lesson that formal education ignores.

It is clear: in our individual behavior and our collective track record, we are losing touch with our humanity, giving up our own power and handing it over to leaders who have no capacity for constraint and self-regulation. We thoughtlessly hand our kids over to schools that lock them in for their entire childhood--believing in a system that impacts their minds with an institutional pedagogy that emulates the now-banned Chinese foot binding. To make children smart, we lock them into learning factories when what they need is the freedom to be themselves in learning habitats.

What does the creatively rich and tax-empowered modern mind think is smart and appropriate? Drones--a technology that will one day be copied by other smart scientists and engineers to be used against us in an ever-ratcheting spiral of creative endeavor. We ignore at our peril the opportunity to create healthy minds that can naturally be inclined to contribute and solve problems, and instead herd their owners into old debt-creating paradigms and life-crushing dreams of success called state mandated and state-sponsored Education.

We can only hope that the human mind still has the will to build great things---not costly, resource-consuming buildings and entertainment empires--but a world that hums on sustainability, mutually beneficial relationships, fair play, common sense economics, and life-affirming principles such as play which can help guide us forward. The best creative work of the brain may yet be solutions that help us outsmart our own self-made gatekeepers,prisons, and controlling institutions--based on the mindless mindsets that diminish and imperil our planetary family.
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