IF SCENARIO-BUILDING, in connection with social cooperation and competition, becomes as central in the life of a species as it apparently has with modern humans, then it may also become important to observe the scenario-building of others, as well as their "real-life" efforts, and learn from them.

From such imitation it is only a short step to taking advantage of the superior abilities of others -- and even to reimbursing them to build scenarios for us.

This idea represents a possible explanation for the evolutionary significance of humor, art, music, myth, religion, drama, literature, theater, preaching and teaching, as well as the magnetic appeal of television soap operas and professional team sports. Such surrogate scenario-building appears to be another kind of occupational specialty of the sort we often call "division of labor." I think it too is unique to humans.

Individuals who are particularly good at such acting-out may be rewarded in various ways, perhaps at first only by elevation of status. Eventually, the rewards may become formalized, so that the unusually good actor becomes a professional and some significant proportion of society attends the sessions in which he performs and pays him handsomely for the privilege. Variations on this idea could account for nearly all of the seemingly inexplicable suites of activities mentioned earlier.