Apr. 8th, 2017

​ ​Please join us on Thursday, April 13, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. for



Tools, Language, and the Evolution of the Human Mind
Prof. em. Kathleen Gibson (University of Texas Medical School)


Paulus Lecture Hall Room 201, College of Law, Willamette University,
245 Winter Street SE, Salem, Oregon


Not so long ago, it was nearly universally agreed that the first manufactured stone tools were produced by early members of the genus, Homo, and that fully modern mental abilities arose very suddenly about 40,000 to 50,000 years ago with the appearance of the Upper Paleolithic. New findings challenge these views. These include manufactured stone tools from Lomekwi, Kenya (3.3. mya), complex tools from Africa which long predate the Upper Paleolithic, Indonesian paintings dating to about 40,000 years ago, and increasing evidence of Neanderthal “symbolic” activities and of interbreeding between Neanderthals and modern humans. This talk discusses this new evidence in light of continuity versus qualitative gap perspectives of human/animal and modern human/fossil hominin mental differences. It concludes that much of what we see in the archaeological record accords with an increased information processing model of tool-making, cooperative, and communicative abilities, and, hence, with Darwinian views that differences of degree, rather than of kind, distinguish human from animal minds (and by extension modern human minds from those of other hominins)


Note for AIA members:

There will be a no-host dinner at Goudy Commons before the lecture.

All AIA members are invited to join us (dinner costs $8.60).
Please join us at 6:00pm in Goudy's lobby.

This lecture is free and open to the public!






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