There may be nothing new under the sun, tut
permutation of the old within complex systemscan do wonders.
STEPHEN JAY GOULD, 1977
HIS IS A BOOK about thought, memory, creativity, consciousness, narrative, talking to oneself, and even dreaming. Ina book that parallels this one,
How Brains Think,
I exploredthose subjects in a general way but here I treat them as some of thepredicted outcomes of a detailed darwinian theory for how ourcerebral cortex represents mental images — and occasionallyrecombines them, to create something new and different.This book proposes how darwinian processes could operate inthe brain to shape up mental images. Starting with shuffledmemories no better than the jumble of our nighttime dreams, amental image can evolve into something of quality, such as asentence to speak aloud. Jung said that dreaming goes on continuously but you can't see it when you are awake, just as you can'tsee the stars in the daylight because the sky is too bright. Mine isa theory for what goes on, hidden from view by the glare of waking mental operations, that produces our peculiarly humantype of consciousness with its versatile intelligence. As Piagetemphasized, intelligence is what we use when we don't knowwhat to do, when we have to grope rather than using a standardresponse. In this book, I tackle a mechanism for doing thisexploration and improvement offline, how we think before we actand how we practice the art of good guessing.