(originally aired December 2012)
The late evolutionary biologist Steven Jay Gould called humans "the primate who tells stories..." And it's not just Gould. Anthropologists have found societies that have existed for millennia without the wheel, but they've never found one that doesn't tell stories. In fewer than 300 pages of THE STORYTELLING ANIMAL, JONATHAN GOTTSCHALL traces the cultural and scientific connections between story and the human brain, touching on nearly every facet of society long the way.
For humans, story is like gravity-it's this powerful and all-encompassing force that we hardly even notice because we are so used to it. But gravity is influencing us all the time, and story is too. Most of us think that our time in the provinces of storyland doesn't shape or change us. But research shows that story shapes humanity at the historical, cultural, and personal levels. Story isn't a frill in human life-something we do just for kicks. Story is a vastly powerful tool. By