From time to time, in the course of day-to-day life, we all make stupid, basic errors in cogitation. For example, this morning I was unloading the dishwasher and, with three coffee mugs in one hand, used the other to open the cupboard where the plates and bowls go. I had a moment of complete blankness before I shook my head with the mild annoyance usual on these occasions.
Here’s what I’m wondering: If humans had the kind of minds that never made that kind of mistake, might we also lose the ability to, on occasion, have surprising and wonderful ideas? Which is to say, perhaps innovation emerges in a process like that found in evolution: Random Variation and Natural Selection. Where the analogue of “mutation” is “thinko”; just as with mutations, a very small proportion turn out to be beneficial.