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In her essay "The Missing Link" from THE AYN RAND LETTER, May 21, 1973, Miss Rand ended her discussion of "the concrete-bound, anti-conceptual mentality" with the following paragraph:

"I am not a student of the theory of evolution and, therefore, I am neither its supporter nor its opponent. But a certain hypothesis has haunted me for years; I want to stress that it is only a hypothesis. There is an enormous breach of continuity between man and all other living species. The difference lies in the nature of man's consciousness, in its distinctive characteristic: his conceptual faculty. It is as if, after aeons of physiological development, the evolutionary process altered its course, and the higher stages of development focused primarily on the consciousness of living species, not their bodies. But the development of a man's consciousness is volitional: no matter what the innate degree of his intelligence, HE must develop it, HE must learn how to use it, HE must become a human being by choice. What if he does not choose to do so? Then he becomes a transitional phenomenon - a desperate creature that struggles frantically against his own nature, longing for the effortless "safety" of an animal's consciousness, which he cannot recapture, and rebelling against a human consciouness, which he is afraid to achieve.

For years, scientists have been looking for a "missing link" between man and animals. Perhaps that missing link is the anti-conceptual mentality."

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Personally, I have always been fascinated by this hypothesis and the possibility that we are an "epistemological species" rather than a biological one.

Comments anyone?

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