Pete, just a couple of mostly tangential comments:
1) “Tool-making” certainly is the foundation of our more abstract search for moral and cognitive absolute truths, in more ways than one. It not only is the first and most fundamental application of our cognitive faculties, but also the evolutionary reason for the physical development of our brains; our large cerebral cortexes evolved to accommodate our complex hands and fingers, which, in combination (our brains and our hands), set in motion the continuing cognitive evolution that has produced this amazing “anthrosphere” of ours.
Steve, your above statement following my post reminds me of an evolutionary term from college days that I thought had passed down the memory-hole, but some of your Dawkin’s terminology must have triggered an association.
And the following may well fit in with your comments above relating tool making to human physiology as it may have been part of the same adaptive bundle in the developing gene composition: “Neotony” is a standard, but little mentioned textbook term in the study of evolution. The gist of it is, Chimpanzees, and possibly other mammals, during the first year of life are incredibly exploratory and curious, but only for about one year. Once that is past a genetic switch is thrown and they settle into the same dull round of routine behavior, eating, sleeping, food-gathering, reproduction, etc. Also, yearling chimps do not have facial hair. Facial hair begins to accumulate about the same time as their youthful curiosity begins to decline–before this, they look much more like human children. Evolutionists theorize that this trait was extended and gradually made itself permanent throughout the entire adult life in ascending lines of primates, now long extinct. As humans may be an extant manifestation of that broken chain of ascending primates the trait is used by some theorists as an explanation in how homo-sapiens remain curious even up until old age and again as a possible contributing factor in the development of human intelligence.

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