Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

Features

On the Origins of the Arts

Sociobiologist E.O. Wilson on the evolution of culture

May-June 2012

The human urge to create art appears magnificently in the Paleolithic paintings from roughly 30,000 years ago at Chauvet Cave, in southern France. Here, the Panel of the Horses.

The human urge to create art appears magnificently in the Paleolithic paintings from roughly 30,000 years ago at Chauvet Cave, in southern France. Here, the Panel of the Horses.

Photographs courtesy of the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, Regional Direction for Cultural Affairs, Rhône-Alpes region/Regional Department of Archaeology

A bison, shown in twisted perspective; the doubling of the hindquarters and the extra legs may depict the animal running, or two bison side by side.

A bison, shown in twisted perspective; the doubling of the hindquarters and the extra legs may depict the animal running, or two bison side by side.

Photographs courtesy of the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, Regional Direction for Cultural Affairs, Rhône-Alpes region/Regional Department of Archaeology

The Lion Panel, with bison (the lions’ likely prey), a young mammoth, and rhinoceros

The Lion Panel, with bison (the lions’ likely prey), a young mammoth, and rhinoceros

Photographs courtesy of the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, Regional Direction for Cultural Affairs, Rhône-Alpes region/Regional Department of Archaeology

Red bear

Red bear

Photographs by Jean Clottes/courtesy of the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, Regional Direction for Cultural Affairs, Rhône-Alpes region/Regional Department of Archaeology

One rhinoceros from a group of 17

One rhinoceros from a group of 17

Photographs by Jean Clottes/courtesy of the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, Regional Direction for Cultural Affairs, Rhône-Alpes region/Regional Department of Archaeology

Dear Reader:

The text excerpted here was posted with permission of W.W. Norton, but that permission has since expired and the text has been taken down. 

Read a Harvard Magazine profile of E.O. Wilson here.

Thank you for visiting. 

You Might Also Like:

Images by iStock and composed by Harvard Magazine/JC

Harvard Study Shows How Antibiotics Disrupt Babies’ Microbiomes

Anopheles gambiae is one of many mosquito species in the genus Anopheles that transmit malaria to humans. At least one species of Anopheles, when infected with Wolbachia bacteria, appears not to act as a vector of the malaria parasite. Photograph courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control

Bacteria Could Help Prevent Malaria, New Harvard Study Finds

You Might Also Like:

Images by iStock and composed by Harvard Magazine/JC

Harvard Study Shows How Antibiotics Disrupt Babies’ Microbiomes

Anopheles gambiae is one of many mosquito species in the genus Anopheles that transmit malaria to humans. At least one species of Anopheles, when infected with Wolbachia bacteria, appears not to act as a vector of the malaria parasite. Photograph courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control

Bacteria Could Help Prevent Malaria, New Harvard Study Finds