"If you think about that from the perspective of human evolution, our great capacity is not just that we learn about the world. The thing that really makes us distinctive is that we can imagine other ways that the world could be. That's really where our enormous evolutionary juice comes from. We understand the world, but that also lets us imagine other ways the world could be, and actually make those other worlds come true. That's what innovation, technology and science are all about."
(From a talk with Alison Gopnik at Edge.org)