Open Peer Commentary
The radical evolutionary step that divides human decision-making from that of nonhumans is the ability to excite the reward process for its own sake, in imagination. Combined with hyperbolic over-valuation of the present, this ability is a potential threat to both the individual's long term survival and the natural selection of high intelligence. Human belief is intrinsically “unfounded” or under-founded, which may or may not be adaptive.
The evolution of misbelief Ryan T. McKay and Daniel C. Dennett Institute for Empirical Research in Economics, University of Zurich, Zurich 8006, Switzerland; and Centre for Anthropology and Mind, University of Oxford, Oxford OX2 6PE, United Kingdom firstname.lastname@example.org http://homepage.mac.com/ryantmckay/; The Center for Cognitive Studies, Tufts University, Medford, MA 02155-7059 email@example.com http://ase.tufts.edu/cogstud/incbios/dennettd/dennettd.htm