Here’s how the mechanism works: Humans alone observe the world and ask questions that demand why, how and what… They use those patterns to build theories, which they then repeatedly test, looking always for systems to further employ and exploit.
As Baron-Cohen describes it, the Systemizing Mechanism is so all-powerful, it explains evolutionary change, historic progress and individual excellence — including, for example, the ancient shift from simple to complex tool use, the invention of the light bulb and the late Kobe Bryant’s highly regimented training schedule. It’s true, all these scenarios can be described as looping sequences of if-and-then reasoning. But it’s a much greater leap to show that this is the main engine of evolution, or that it demonstrates how human brains work in real time, or that the two things have much in common.
[Editor’s note: Find “The Patter Seekers: How Autism Drives Human Invention” here.]