CFI-LA’s FEED YOUR BRAIN Lecture Series
Shamanism and the Origin of Creativity
11 a.m., Sunday, March. 1 2009
Modern humans who first appeared in Africa about 150,000 years ago continued to act (and presumably think) like our earlier and more primitive hominid predecessors until 35,000 -50,000 years ago, according to the archaeological record. That’s when not only art but also artistic masterpieces created in shamanistic religious rituals suddenly appeared. Why?
David S. Whitley, Ph.D., argues for a new interpretation of shamanism, the first known human religion, with significant implications for the origin of human creativity. He suggests that modern human behavior first appeared not simply with the evolution of our cognitive capability but with the development of certain mental diseases, especially bi-polarity, that is strongly associated with artistic genius and shamanic religions.
Whitley is an archaeologist who conducts research on the origins of art and religion. A former Chief Archaeologist at UCLA, he is the owner of W&S Consultants, an archaeological consulting firm in Tehachapi, and an Adjunct Professor at the School of Geographical Sciences at Arizona State University. His recent books include Introduction to Rock Art Research, which won a Choice Outstanding Academic Book award for 2006, and the just published Cave Paintings and the Human Spirit: The Origin of Creativity and Belief.
WHEN: 11:00 a.m.,
Sunday, March 1st 2009.
The Center for Inquiry-Los Angeles
4773 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90027