Which Existed First: God or the Human Imagination?
"One can be a member of a transcendental group, or a nation, even though one never comes in contact with the other members of it. Moreover, the composition of such groups, whether they are clans or nations, may equally include the living and the dead," he added.
He argues that no animals, not even our nearest relatives the chimpanzees, can do this. Instead, he says, they're restricted to the routine and Machiavellian social interactions of everyday life.
The reason for this, he says, is that they can't imagine beyond this immediate social circle, or backwards and forwards in time, in the same way that humans can.
Not that long ago we deemed ourselves unique because of our ability to use tools; now we're assured we're the only species with the ability to imagine. I have to wonder just how long this will last.