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Author Topic:   What bothers me about the evolution of Man
Panda
Member (Idle past 1245 days)
Posts: 2688
From: UK
Joined: 10-04-2010


Message 61 of 142 (643244)
12-05-2011 6:07 PM
Reply to: Message 49 by Tangle
12-05-2011 2:24 PM


Tangle writes:

And until you can find an example of a species using any form of technolgy cleverer than a pointy stick and/or language higher than a few grunts, shreaks and pings, i'd say nothing even approaches the scale.

There are many many animals whose language is 'higher' that a few grunts.

This leaves you with an overly simplistic idea that technology is the sole identifier of intelligence.

But I doubt if you want technology to be a measurement of intelligence - unless you want to claim that these people are less intelligent...


If I were you
And I wish that I were you
All the things I'd do
To make myself turn blue

This message is a reply to:
 Message 49 by Tangle, posted 12-05-2011 2:24 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 62 by frako, posted 12-05-2011 6:11 PM Panda has responded
 Message 66 by Tangle, posted 12-06-2011 3:42 AM Panda has responded

  
frako
Member
Posts: 2705
From: slovenija
Joined: 09-04-2010


Message 62 of 142 (643245)
12-05-2011 6:11 PM
Reply to: Message 61 by Panda
12-05-2011 6:07 PM


they are not too smart they life in the frigging desert, as to why they dont have sophisticated technology cmmon who wants to build a castle in that heat, who wants to be locked in a room in that heat and ponder and experiment on electricity cmmon be real in that heat all you want to do is lay in the shade

Christianity, One woman's lie about an affair that got seriously out of hand

This message is a reply to:
 Message 61 by Panda, posted 12-05-2011 6:07 PM Panda has responded

Replies to this message:
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Panda
Member (Idle past 1245 days)
Posts: 2688
From: UK
Joined: 10-04-2010


Message 63 of 142 (643258)
12-05-2011 7:07 PM
Reply to: Message 50 by Rahvin
12-05-2011 2:58 PM


Rahvin writes:

You vastly underestimate the difference in intelligence shown between humans and other species.

True.
But my main objection is to the claim that ("real") intelligence has not developed elsewhere in nature.

(Sorry to skip so much of your post, but I am mainly in agreement with what you wrote.)


If I were you
And I wish that I were you
All the things I'd do
To make myself turn blue

This message is a reply to:
 Message 50 by Rahvin, posted 12-05-2011 2:58 PM Rahvin has not yet responded

  
Panda
Member (Idle past 1245 days)
Posts: 2688
From: UK
Joined: 10-04-2010


Message 64 of 142 (643259)
12-05-2011 7:12 PM
Reply to: Message 62 by frako
12-05-2011 6:11 PM


frako writes:

as to why they dont have sophisticated technology cmmon who wants to build a castle in that heat, who wants to be locked in a room in that heat and ponder and experiment on electricity cmmon be real in that heat all you want to do is lay in the shade

What you can't see in that photo is that they are actually queuing for a cocktail bar...

If I were you
And I wish that I were you
All the things I'd do
To make myself turn blue

This message is a reply to:
 Message 62 by frako, posted 12-05-2011 6:11 PM frako has not yet responded

  
Rahvin
Member (Idle past 719 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 65 of 142 (643263)
12-05-2011 7:57 PM
Reply to: Message 55 by New Cat's Eye
12-05-2011 4:19 PM


I'm only comparing modern Homo Sapiens Sapiens to other extant species.

Why? In the context of something "that only evolved once" that seems to be begging the question.

Reread my posts. I never claimed or agreed that human-level intelligence "only evolved once." I've only pointed out that human-level intelligence is vastly out of proportion with extant species, and specifically is absurd overkill for "normal" environmental challenges in terms of selection pressure, particularly with the downsides of growing and fueling a human brain. I've been talking about the specific, likely selective pressure that would cause human-level intelligence to evolve. You're confusing my arguments for other people's statements.

Our ability to share information with other members of our social groups on an abstract, as opposed to demonstrative level is part of what sets us apart intellectually.

Maybe a better word would be "knowledge" than "intelligence".

Not really. It's the ability to acquire and process knowledge that provide advantages, not knowledge itself.

Haven't you heard of a particular chimp being said to have the intelligence of a 3 year old human, or something like that? That's using the same scale that you're saying no other animals are even on...

3-year-old human brains aren't fully grown yet. The human brain finishes it's primary development around 20 years after birth.

Comparing immature humans to animal intelligence is patently absurd. One could argue that a 1-week-old horse is smarter than a 1-week-old human child because the human child doesn't even have full control of its limbs yet, while the horse will be walking. Insects are mobile from birth, while newborn humans can't even crawl.

An adult human is incredibly more intelligent than an adult chimp. It's not even a close comparison, despite them being some of our closest extant relatives.


The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion (either as being the received opinion or as being agreeable to itself) draws all things else to support and agree with it.
- Francis Bacon

"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs." - John Rogers


This message is a reply to:
 Message 55 by New Cat's Eye, posted 12-05-2011 4:19 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
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Tangle
Member
Posts: 5065
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 66 of 142 (643295)
12-06-2011 3:42 AM
Reply to: Message 61 by Panda
12-05-2011 6:07 PM


panda writes:

But I doubt if you want technology to be a measurement of intelligence - unless you want to claim that these people are less intelligent...

Technology is an excellent measure of intelligence - obviously. Ask SETI.
The guys in your picture use technology extensively, from their manufacture of weapons, cooking equipment, clothing, jewellry, housing, agrictulture, music etc. They have advanced language and communications, a theory of mind, can plan ahead, imagine their own deaths and work in groups.

But my main objection is to the claim that ("real") intelligence has not developed elsewhere in nature.

You can't name a single species that comes even close to their level of intelligence. Prove me wrong.


Life, don't talk to me about life.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 61 by Panda, posted 12-05-2011 6:07 PM Panda has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 75 by Panda, posted 12-06-2011 10:25 AM Tangle has not yet responded

  
Larni
Member
Posts: 3949
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 67 of 142 (643297)
12-06-2011 4:19 AM
Reply to: Message 49 by Tangle
12-05-2011 2:24 PM


That's a very narrow definition of intelligence you have, mate.

When it comes to brain power we win but only at what we are good at. Being able to infer causality is not a skill only we have.

And about language being clicks and pings. If they hold meaningful information where is the beef?

Some African language have 'stops'. They sound like clicks to me.


The above ontological example models the zero premise to BB theory. It does so by applying the relative uniformity assumption that the alleged zero event eventually ontologically progressed from the compressed alleged sub-microscopic chaos to bloom/expand into all of the present observable order, more than it models the Biblical record evidence for the existence of Jehovah, the maximal Biblical god designer.
-Attributed to Buzsaw Message 53

Moreover that view is a blatantly anti-relativistic one. I'm rather inclined to think that space being relative to time and time relative to location should make such a naive hankering to pin-point an ultimate origin of anything, an aspiration that is not even wrong.

Well, Larni, let's say I much better know what I don't want to say than how exactly say what I do.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 49 by Tangle, posted 12-05-2011 2:24 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 68 by Tangle, posted 12-06-2011 4:38 AM Larni has responded

    
Tangle
Member
Posts: 5065
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 68 of 142 (643298)
12-06-2011 4:38 AM
Reply to: Message 67 by Larni
12-06-2011 4:19 AM


larni writes:

That's a very narrow definition of intelligence you have, mate.

i'll happily accept whatever mainstream definition of intelligence you prefer. Then all you have to do is find an animal that comes even close to H.sapiens.

Good luck


Life, don't talk to me about life.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 67 by Larni, posted 12-06-2011 4:19 AM Larni has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 70 by Larni, posted 12-06-2011 4:43 AM Tangle has responded

  
Larni
Member
Posts: 3949
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 69 of 142 (643299)
12-06-2011 4:42 AM
Reply to: Message 58 by frako
12-05-2011 5:31 PM


If you are talking about Neanderthals and simmilar none of their brain sizes comes close to us on a scale where a squid is 1 and we are 10 they would be a 6,5 at best. Cant be to sure without an iq test from them

You might be surprised to discover Neanderthals had larger brains than us.

What may have contributed to their decline more than a lack of smarts, was their arm joints not being well suited to throwing. Thus they could not make use of ranged weapons as well as we could.

ABE: ninja'd by jar

Edited by Larni, : No reason given.


The above ontological example models the zero premise to BB theory. It does so by applying the relative uniformity assumption that the alleged zero event eventually ontologically progressed from the compressed alleged sub-microscopic chaos to bloom/expand into all of the present observable order, more than it models the Biblical record evidence for the existence of Jehovah, the maximal Biblical god designer.
-Attributed to Buzsaw Message 53

Moreover that view is a blatantly anti-relativistic one. I'm rather inclined to think that space being relative to time and time relative to location should make such a naive hankering to pin-point an ultimate origin of anything, an aspiration that is not even wrong.

Well, Larni, let's say I much better know what I don't want to say than how exactly say what I do.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 58 by frako, posted 12-05-2011 5:31 PM frako has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 71 by Dr Jack, posted 12-06-2011 8:19 AM Larni has responded

    
Larni
Member
Posts: 3949
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 70 of 142 (643300)
12-06-2011 4:43 AM
Reply to: Message 68 by Tangle
12-06-2011 4:38 AM


Are you talking about processing power or skills on an IQ test?

The above ontological example models the zero premise to BB theory. It does so by applying the relative uniformity assumption that the alleged zero event eventually ontologically progressed from the compressed alleged sub-microscopic chaos to bloom/expand into all of the present observable order, more than it models the Biblical record evidence for the existence of Jehovah, the maximal Biblical god designer.
-Attributed to Buzsaw Message 53

Moreover that view is a blatantly anti-relativistic one. I'm rather inclined to think that space being relative to time and time relative to location should make such a naive hankering to pin-point an ultimate origin of anything, an aspiration that is not even wrong.

Well, Larni, let's say I much better know what I don't want to say than how exactly say what I do.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 68 by Tangle, posted 12-06-2011 4:38 AM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 77 by Tangle, posted 12-06-2011 11:41 AM Larni has not yet responded

    
Dr Jack
Member
Posts: 3506
From: Leicester, England
Joined: 07-14-2003


Message 71 of 142 (643305)
12-06-2011 8:19 AM
Reply to: Message 69 by Larni
12-06-2011 4:42 AM


You might be surprised to discover Neanderthals had larger brains than us.

To be pedantic, more recent reconstructions of Neanderthal brain size suggest that is not, in fact, the case. Although your wider point still holds since they are damn close in size.

If I was to hazard a guess, I would suggest that the advantage we had over them was entirely down to physical form rather than mental capabilities.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 69 by Larni, posted 12-06-2011 4:42 AM Larni has responded

Replies to this message:
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 18970
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


(2)
Message 72 of 142 (643316)
12-06-2011 10:07 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by New Cat's Eye
12-02-2011 10:08 AM


Runaway Sexual Selection
Hi Catholic Scientist

I believe you are closest to a real answer here.

The point is that the particular trait you're looking at didn't necessarily have to be the one that was being specifically selected for. Things can "go along for the ride" so to speak.

The question is what the selection is for, then to see what came along for the ride.

Another thing that I didn't see brought up yet is sexual selection. Maybe the chicks just dug the guys that exhibited traits that resulted from bigger brains.

So we look at who are considered the best choices for mates: rock stars or nobel prize winners? Entertainers vs thinkers?

Long hair, large breasts, large penises, youthful appearances are all "abnormal" compared to other primates thus they are evidence of selection pressures for those traits. These traits have no survival advantage to speak of, and may even result in lower survival rates on their own. This leaves sexual selection and the competition for mates and reproductive success.

Rahvin Message 15: But there's one possibility that involves an intellectual arms race without limit.

Competition with each other.

The smarter we get, the smarter the competition, and so even smarter individuals still have a selection advantage. It's an evolutionary spiral. Each increment is small, but the selective pressure is never actually overcome because there are always more humans to compete with.

This is one part of sexual selection: males compete with males for domination in order to have more mating opportunities. This does account for the sexual dimorphism in size (personally I believe this is becoming less, but that is my thoughts on the matter).

nwr Message 17: Start paying more attention to the Republican candidates for US President. You might change your mind on whether the brain is overpowered.

Indeed. These people are definitely NOT the sharpest tacks in the box, yet they appeal to many people as leader types.

This again shows that intelligence is NOT what is being selected for in mates\leaders.

Catholice Scientist Message 7: The point is that the particular trait you're looking at didn't necessarily have to be the one that was being specifically selected for. Things can "go along for the ride" so to speak.

Message 18: But you're still trying to find a need to fill for a positive selective pressure towards bigger brains. The point was that there might not even be that need there in the first place.

The size of the brain came along for the ride: what was being selected for that benefited from increased brain size\power?

Straggler Message 19: The human brain uses a lot of energy. It requires a lot of feeding.

Without any positive selection pressure it seems unlikely that such an "expensive" organ would evolve purely as a side product of other factors in the way I think you are suggesting.

That might be how it started out. But some sort of selection for bigger and bigger brains does seem to be required to explain the result we have ended up with.

Sexual selection seems a viable candidate. Big brains are sexy.

Again: look at sexual selection in operation in our society today -- who are the sexiest women\ men? Compare them to who are the most intelligent women\men.

Catholic Scientist Message 27: The same goes for the peacock tail... they don't need it, it resulted from other selective pressures. That's what I'm talking about.

Bingo. When you see a trait that has evolved to the point where it can go no further without overly impacting the survival rate of the carriers, when you see a trait that is not distributed in a bell curve, but a skewed curve pushed up against one end, where further development is not beneficial to the species, then you are looking at a run-away feedback loop selection -- Fisherian Runaway Sexual Selection:

quote:
Fisherian runaway is a model of sexual selection, first proposed by R.A. Fisher in 1915,[1] and expanded upon in his 1930 book The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection,[2] that suggests an explanation for sexual selection of traits that do not obviously increase fitness of survival, based upon a positive feedback "runaway" mechanism.

Fisher's explanation is that selection of such traits is a result of sexual preference; that members of the opposite sex find a trait desirable. This preference makes the trait advantageous, which in a circular fashion makes having a preference for the trait advantageous.

The process is termed "runaway" because over time, it would facilitate the development of greater preference and more pronounced traits, until the costs of producing the trait balance the reproductive benefit of possessing it.

By way of example, the peacock's tail requires a great deal of energy to grow and maintain, it reduces the bird's agility, and it may increase the animal's visibility to predators. Yet it has evolved, indicating that birds with longer tails have some advantage.


Also see Sexual Selection, Stasis, Runaway Selection, Dimorphism, & Human Evolution for additional thoughts I have on this topic.

Fisherian Runaway Sexual Selection explains:

  • large brains
  • apparent bareness
  • long head hair
  • year round large breasts (while fertile)
  • large penises
  • etc

It is apparent to me that what is selected for in mates is creativity and youth, rather than intelligence, and that brain size came along for the ride.

Sex made us what we are.

Enjoy.

added by edit:

Tangle Message 37: A related puzzle, or maybe more evidence of how valuable our brains are, is the fact that having such a large brain is a very distinct reproductive disadvantage. The babies brain is so large that it doesn't fit easily in the birth canal and without medical intervention a very large number of mothers and babies simply die in childbirth.

Then the baby has to be born whilst it's still immature because if it carried on growing to the physical maturity of most mammals at birth, the head would be so large that it simply couldn't emerge from the mother. This means that the mother has to invest many years of full time nurturing in order to get her offspring to the point were it can survive on its own.

Add extended development outside the womb as a means for even larger brains to evolve The extended childhood is also longer than any other primate, with a human child not able to fend for itself until ~9 years old, just a few years short of sexual maturity (and hence the neotenty is also linked).

Enjoy.

Edited by Zen Deist, : added end comments


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by New Cat's Eye, posted 12-02-2011 10:08 AM New Cat's Eye has acknowledged this reply

  
Larni
Member
Posts: 3949
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 73 of 142 (643321)
12-06-2011 10:14 AM
Reply to: Message 71 by Dr Jack
12-06-2011 8:19 AM


To be pedantic *snip*

No worries, happy to learn something new .

If I was to hazard a guess, I would suggest that the advantage we had over them was entirely down to physical form rather than mental capabilities.

I agree to a large extent: our more rotatable shoulders would let us 'project force' over a much larger area so our 'kill range radius' would be larger.

I also expect our need to deal with the cold more (due to being less robust and cold adapted) would almost certainly been a profound selective pressure.

I do remember reading something abiut humans making more use of jewery and icons than Neanderthals, though.

I suspect that is significant for social interactions and that seems a significant driver of brain size and morphology..


The above ontological example models the zero premise to BB theory. It does so by applying the relative uniformity assumption that the alleged zero event eventually ontologically progressed from the compressed alleged sub-microscopic chaos to bloom/expand into all of the present observable order, more than it models the Biblical record evidence for the existence of Jehovah, the maximal Biblical god designer.
-Attributed to Buzsaw Message 53

Moreover that view is a blatantly anti-relativistic one. I'm rather inclined to think that space being relative to time and time relative to location should make such a naive hankering to pin-point an ultimate origin of anything, an aspiration that is not even wrong.

Well, Larni, let's say I much better know what I don't want to say than how exactly say what I do.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 71 by Dr Jack, posted 12-06-2011 8:19 AM Dr Jack has not yet responded

    
New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11707
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 74 of 142 (643322)
12-06-2011 10:14 AM
Reply to: Message 65 by Rahvin
12-05-2011 7:57 PM


Reread my posts. I never claimed or agreed that human-level intelligence "only evolved once." I've only pointed out that human-level intelligence is vastly out of proportion with extant species, and specifically is absurd overkill for "normal" environmental challenges in terms of selection pressure, particularly with the downsides of growing and fueling a human brain. I've been talking about the specific, likely selective pressure that would cause human-level intelligence to evolve. You're confusing my arguments for other people's statements.

No, I'm trying to tell you that you're talking past the people you're responding to. We know that above, we don't disagree with it, we were responding to the claim that intelligence only evolved once.

Not really. It's the ability to acquire and process knowledge that provide advantages, not knowledge itself.

Its both. There weren't any skyscrapers 10,000 years ago not because man was less intelligent back then, but because man had less knowledge.

3-year-old human brains aren't fully grown yet. The human brain finishes it's primary development around 20 years after birth.

Comparing immature humans to animal intelligence is patently absurd.

Then why do biologist do it when assessing a chimps intelligence? (by saying they're as smart as a 3 year old)

One could argue that a 1-week-old horse is smarter than a 1-week-old human child because the human child doesn't even have full control of its limbs yet, while the horse will be walking. Insects are mobile from birth, while newborn humans can't even crawl.

Now that's absurd.

An adult human is incredibly more intelligent than an adult chimp. It's not even a close comparison, despite them being some of our closest extant relatives.

Yeah, so you compare them to less developed humans. I guess its just a little nicer to use immaturity than, say retardation. This chimps 'bout half-retarded


This message is a reply to:
 Message 65 by Rahvin, posted 12-05-2011 7:57 PM Rahvin has not yet responded

  
Panda
Member (Idle past 1245 days)
Posts: 2688
From: UK
Joined: 10-04-2010


Message 75 of 142 (643325)
12-06-2011 10:25 AM
Reply to: Message 66 by Tangle
12-06-2011 3:42 AM


Tangle writes:

The guys in your picture use technology extensively, from their manufacture of weapons, cooking equipment, clothing, jewellry, housing, agrictulture, music etc. They have advanced language and communications, a theory of mind, can plan ahead, imagine their own deaths and work in groups.

But their technology is so far behind ours (in the developed world) that their intelligence must be equally as far behind ours.
So, by your definition, they are considerably less intelligent than us in the west.

Many Amazonian tribes use tools that are little more than pointed sticks, so do you think that their intelligence is on a par with chimpanzees?
Shall we put them in a zoo?

You need to abandon technology as a measure of intelligence. Lack of technology does not indicate lack of intelligence.
Plato lacked most of our technology, but I am sure you would not think him any less intelligent than us.

Tangle writes:

You can't name a single species that comes even close to their level of intelligence. Prove me wrong.

Well, since that is not what I was arguing for, I see no reason to.
Your claim that "Real" intelligence has not occurred elsewhere in nature is false. Changing it to "Close to human intelligence" does not make it true.

Anywho...
Us being the most intelligent species only makes other animals less intelligent. But they are not non-intelligent.
Real intelligence has evolved throughout nature.


If I were you
And I wish that I were you
All the things I'd do
To make myself turn blue

This message is a reply to:
 Message 66 by Tangle, posted 12-06-2011 3:42 AM Tangle has not yet responded

  
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