Jack Zipes, a professor emeritus from the University of Minnesota, is a renowned expert on the origin and evolution of fairytales.
He told Discovery News, "Tehrani and Graça da Silva have clearly and scientifically demonstrated that the origins of folk and fairy tales can indeed be traced back to ancient societies by using phylogenetic methods. Their work can serve as the ground work for studies that investigate why certain tale types originated, how they were disseminated and spread throughout the world, and why we keep telling the same tales though different modalities in the present."
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As for why such stories retain such enduring appeal, Tehrani credits that, in part, to their focus on magic and miracles.
"I think humans everywhere have always been fascinated by beings and objects with special powers, whether wizards or jedi, magic mirrors or time machines," Tehrani said.
Graça da Silva added that the tension in the stories reflects timeless dichotomies: good versus evil, right and wrong, punishment and reward, male and female, moral and immoral, and many more.