Alison Gopnik“For human beings the really important evolutionary advantage is our ability to create new worlds.”

“In fact, I think now that the two abilities – finding the truth about the world and creating new worlds-are two sides of the same coins. Theories, in science or childhood, don’t just tell us what’s true – they tell us what’s possible, and they tell us how to get to those possibilities from where we are now. When children learn and when they pretend they use their knowledge of the world to create new possibilities. So do we whether we are doing science or writing novels. I don’t think anymore that Science and Fiction are just both Good Things that complement each other. I think they are, quite literally, the same thing.”

The World Question Center at

Alison Gopnik
Psychologist, UC-Berkeley

Coauthor, The Scientist In the Crib