CARTA presents, “The Role of Myth in Anthropogeny” (Free: In person and livestreaming)

You’re invited: In person or online!

“The Role of Myth in Anthropogeny,” is the topic of a FREE, hybrid public symposium hosted by the CARTA: UC San Diego/Salk Center for Academic Research & Training in Anthropogeny at the Salk Institute – Conrad T. Prebys Auditorium on FRIDAY, May 19, 2023 (Beginning 1:00 p.m. Pacific with Q&A and expert discussion and commencing ~ 4:30 p.m. Pacific), co-chaired by Daniel Povinelli (University of Louisiana at Lafayette) and Pauline Wiessner (Arizona State University & University of Utah).

Event Summary:
The human penchant for storytelling is universal, early developing, and profoundly culture-shaping. Stories (folk tales, narratives, and myths) influence the costs of social transactions and organize societies at every scale of human interaction. Story as a mode of communication is also unprecedented in the animal kingdom: although we are compelled to tell stories about other animals, they are not likewise compelled to tell stories about us (or anything else, for that matter). Even scientists who attempt to objectively understand human origins are destined to craft those explanations as stories, often with narrative and/or mythic overtones. From the domestication of fire to the emergence of cooperative hunting to the evolutionary origins of human cognition, our understanding of the human journey is deeply influenced by stories embedded in our cultural histories. Even our ability to manage urgent human problems such as global health and climate change are affected by the stories and myths humans choose to tell. This symposium explores several stories about how the evolution of story-telling shaped, and continues to shape, the human epoch.

For updates regarding the live webcast of the in-person symposium on FRIDAY, May 19, 2023, follow CARTA’s Twitter (@CARTAUCSD), Facebook (@ucsdcarta), and LinkedIn accounts and/or visit the event page: For more information, please email: or

Funding for this symposium was provided by many generous CARTA friends like YOU. Closed captioning for the recordings was made possible by CARTA Patrons Ingrid Benirschke-Perkins & Gordon Perkins.