As viewers, we are not entirely unconscious dreamers. When we sleep we are often able to stand apart from the action of our dreams and recognize that the chaotic story we are witnessing is not real. This kind of double consciousness is always true of our experience of art. When we watch or read or listen to a fictional story, we know it is a fiction.
In traditional portrayals, scientists are thought to have stolen forbidden knowledge from the gods or lost their humanity in some unholy Faustian bargain. Mary Shelley’s rarely remembered alternative title for "Frankenstein" was "The New Prometheus."
So why is human behavior so special? Does it make sense that we alone should stand apart from the rest of nature? Is it reasonable to think that humans possess a non-material mind that makes decisions for the material body but is itself not caused or determined by anything else? A ghostly entity floating above the ordinary clockwork of biology and physics.
Normally we do everything we can to eliminate uncertainty in our lives, but sometimes, when we see no other way to control the situation, a magical roll of the dice can be just the thing we are looking for.