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Author Topic:   What bothers me about the evolution of Man
RAZD
Member
Posts: 18790
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 76 of 142 (643327)
12-06-2011 10:29 AM
Reply to: Message 37 by Tangle
12-04-2011 2:29 PM


Hi Tangle and welcome to the fray.

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.

One wonders if this is a higher rate of fetal\birth death than in other species (under "normal" natural conditions).

A higher rate of deaths of women during childbirth would also show this selection.

Anecdotally this seems to be the case.

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, with further growth after birth during an extended childhood. 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.


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.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by Tangle, posted 12-04-2011 2:29 PM Tangle has not yet responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 4882
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 77 of 142 (643339)
12-06-2011 11:41 AM
Reply to: Message 70 by Larni
12-06-2011 4:43 AM


larni writes:

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

As I said. I'll happily accept whatever mainstream definition of intelligence you prefer. If you can get a dolphin or a crow to even take an IQ test I'll happily concede my point. (btw, getting peanuts out of jars with stick and similar fascinating but relatively trivial tasks that smart animals can master is not what I mean.)

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.

My claim is that our kind of conscious intelligence has only evolved once. I am not claiming that other animals don't display some degree of intelligence, they obviously do. But it's equally obvious that their intelligence is not of the same order as ours. Not even close.


Life, don't talk to me about life.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 70 by Larni, posted 12-06-2011 4:43 AM Larni has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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 Message 82 by Panda, posted 12-06-2011 12:55 PM Tangle has responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 29142
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 78 of 142 (643341)
12-06-2011 11:45 AM
Reply to: Message 77 by Tangle
12-06-2011 11:41 AM


"Tangle" writes:

My claim is that our kind of conscious intelligence has only evolved once.

We know that is your claim, but what is your claim based on?


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 77 by Tangle, posted 12-06-2011 11:41 AM Tangle has not yet responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11540
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 79 of 142 (643344)
12-06-2011 11:55 AM
Reply to: Message 77 by Tangle
12-06-2011 11:41 AM


My claim is that our kind of conscious intelligence has only evolved once.

Which is wrong... unless you beg the question by dscounting extinct species or define intelligence a way that suit your claim. And which point, your claim is unimportant. Other animals have "our kind of conscious inteligence" but it is the degree that makes us different.

Our kind of bipedalism equally only evolved once. So what?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 77 by Tangle, posted 12-06-2011 11:41 AM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 81 by Tangle, posted 12-06-2011 12:46 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
Dr Jack
Member
Posts: 3503
From: Leicester, England
Joined: 07-14-2003


Message 80 of 142 (643355)
12-06-2011 12:27 PM
Reply to: Message 77 by Tangle
12-06-2011 11:41 AM


My claim is that our kind of conscious intelligence has only evolved once. I am not claiming that other animals don't display some degree of intelligence, they obviously do. But it's equally obvious that their intelligence is not of the same order as ours. Not even close.

I'm puzzled by your inclusion of "conscious" here?

I agree with you that human-level intelligence has only evolved once in the history of life on Earth. But I'm not sure how conscious comes into it? Are you suggesting we're the only conscious species? Or that other species have the same intelligence but are not conscious?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 77 by Tangle, posted 12-06-2011 11:41 AM Tangle has not yet responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 4882
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 81 of 142 (643363)
12-06-2011 12:46 PM
Reply to: Message 79 by New Cat's Eye
12-06-2011 11:55 AM


Catholic Scientist writes:

Which is wrong... unless you beg the question by dscounting extinct species

I've said this at least three times now. I'm not excluding extinct species except ape descendants - for the obvious reason that we are ape descendants ourselves and are therefore likely to have the same brain. (Unless you can show that an extinct line independently came up with an analogue to our brain - then fine, but good luck with that too.)

or define intelligence a way that suit your claim.

I've said this twice now - I'll accept any mainstream definition.


Our kind of bipedalism equally only evolved once. So what?

So it's very interesting and it's useful to ask the question "why?" It's what science does I believe.

One view is that bipedalism, brain size and hair-loss are all related developments. They allowed us to leave the forests for the open savannahs - bi-pedalism and hair-loss allowed us to run long distances without boiling over and our brains helped us organise in groups make weapons and hunt down faster animals (and avoid predation). It's a good story anyhow.

Can you think of any other single adaptation that delivers so much competitive advantage that only exists in a single species? It's seems that H. sapiens has at least two.

cf feathers, flight, gills, lungs, quadruped locomotion, exoskeletons, taste, touch, hearing sight, radar, scales, hooves, fingers, tails, blood circulation, warm-bloodedness, stomachs, vivipary,........a very long list.


Life, don't talk to me about life.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 79 by New Cat's Eye, posted 12-06-2011 11:55 AM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 83 by New Cat's Eye, posted 12-06-2011 1:20 PM Tangle has responded

  
Panda
Member (Idle past 1183 days)
Posts: 2688
From: UK
Joined: 10-04-2010


Message 82 of 142 (643364)
12-06-2011 12:55 PM
Reply to: Message 77 by Tangle
12-06-2011 11:41 AM


Please focus.
You were replying to 2 different people in one post.

Tangle writes:

My claim is that our kind of conscious intelligence has only evolved once.

What is 'our kind of conscious intelligence'?
How does it differ to other animals?
(Surely you don't simply mean magnitude?!)

Tangle writes:

I am not claiming that other animals don't display some degree of intelligence

But that is what you were claiming.

Tangle writes:

they obviously do.

Retraction accepted.
Real intelligence has evolved in many many animals.

Tangle writes:

But it's equally obvious that their intelligence is not of the same order as ours. Not even close.

Which has no bearing on the evolution of intelligence in other animals.
We are at the top of the intelligence ladder.
That does not mean that there is no other creature on ladder with us.

Real intelligence has evolved in nature countless times.


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 77 by Tangle, posted 12-06-2011 11:41 AM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 84 by Tangle, posted 12-06-2011 1:22 PM Panda has responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11540
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 83 of 142 (643367)
12-06-2011 1:20 PM
Reply to: Message 81 by Tangle
12-06-2011 12:46 PM


I've said this at least three times now. I'm not excluding extinct species except ape descendants - for the obvious reason that we are ape descendants ourselves and are therefore likely to have the same brain.

In that regard, feathers only evolved one. BFD. Like I said, its a vacuous claim.

What about Gorillas?

quote:
During the course of the study, Koko has advanced further with language than any other non-human. Koko has a working vocabulary of over 1000 signs. Koko understands approximately 2,000 words of spoken English. Koko initiates the majority of conversations with her human companions and typically constructs statements averaging three to six words. Koko has a tested IQ of between 70 and 95 on a human scale, where 100 is considered "normal." Michael, the male silverback gorilla who grew up with Koko, had a working vocabulary of over 600 signs.

sauce

I've said this twice now - I'll accept any mainstream definition.

Unless it suggests that human intelligence is not unique You even had to qualify what you were talking about as "real" intelligence.

So it's very interesting and it's useful to ask the question "why?" It's what science does I believe.

You haven't even gotten us that far... All we've got is:

"Herp, real intelligence only evolved once, derp."

Can you think of any other single adaptation that delivers so much competitive advantage that only exists in a single species?

Well sure, the peacock's tail has already been mentioned in this thread. But you're back to a single species now... Neandertals were a different speicies with the same intelligence that humans have so this adaptation does not exist in only a single speicies.

It depends on how you want to limit your sample. If we discount all bird decedants, we could say that feathers only evolved once.

But this is getting pretty ridiculous. You're point is not profound or anything. I think you were just talking in passing. Clumsy word choice and cluttered thinking.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 81 by Tangle, posted 12-06-2011 12:46 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 85 by Tangle, posted 12-06-2011 1:28 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 4882
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 84 of 142 (643368)
12-06-2011 1:22 PM
Reply to: Message 82 by Panda
12-06-2011 12:55 PM


panda writes:


Real intelligence has evolved in nature countless times.

So I'll ask for one final time to give me a single example, using any kind of mainstream definition that you like, of another species, living or dead, that even approximates to our own level of intelligence and consciousness. Even a very distant miss would do.

ps, if it helps you at all in guaging the level of attainment you need to demonstrate in your dolphin, elephant, jay or chimp, I'm writing this with an iPad from the other side of the world to a machine I've never seen, by radio. So yes, technology is one method of establishing the intelligence of a species and yes, I do think that magnitude is a major differentiator and yes I do think consciousness is also vital and no I've never claimed that 'intelligence' itself, no matteer how lowly, is unique to us, that was a straw man.


Life, don't talk to me about life.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 82 by Panda, posted 12-06-2011 12:55 PM Panda has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 89 by Panda, posted 12-06-2011 8:00 PM Tangle has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 4882
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 85 of 142 (643371)
12-06-2011 1:28 PM
Reply to: Message 83 by New Cat's Eye
12-06-2011 1:20 PM


CS writes:

But this is getting pretty ridiculous.

For a while there I thought there was nothing we were going to agree about.

You genuinely think that our intelligence is no different than that of other sprecies? I mean really?


Life, don't talk to me about life.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 83 by New Cat's Eye, posted 12-06-2011 1:20 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 86 by New Cat's Eye, posted 12-06-2011 1:55 PM Tangle has responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11540
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 86 of 142 (643373)
12-06-2011 1:55 PM
Reply to: Message 85 by Tangle
12-06-2011 1:28 PM


For a while there I thought there was nothing we were going to agree about.

You genuinely think that our intelligence is no different than that of other sprecies? I mean really?

Of course its different. But its different by degree, not by kind.

And other (extinct) species have had similiar degrees so it isn't unique to humans.

You seem to be suggesting that humans have a unique kind of intelligence to a unique degree... that's just not true.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 85 by Tangle, posted 12-06-2011 1:28 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 87 by Tangle, posted 12-06-2011 2:40 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 4882
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 87 of 142 (643379)
12-06-2011 2:40 PM
Reply to: Message 86 by New Cat's Eye
12-06-2011 1:55 PM


CS writes:

Of course its different. But its different by degree, not by kind.

I claim that it's different by both degree and kind.

I believe that the degree is uncontestable (a statement of the blindingly obvious, the degree of difference is so large that no other animal intelligence would get onto the same scale.)

The kind is more contentious and not being a neuroscientist, I can't easily defend it - but I have develeoped an amateur interest in it.

Many/most/all animals have something normally called a brain. The major difference in humans from any other animal, including modern apes and extinct hominids, is the massive over-development of the prefrontal cortex and the functions it performs. This part of the brain is responsible for our recently developed ability to reason and calculate - it's the functions developed in this are that are used to govern more ancient functions like morals and emotions.

We are only just beginning to understand how our brain actually works, it's really only since funtional MRI scanners became available that we've been able to begin to get a basic understanding of it.

There's a rather outragious quote from Professor Cohen, from the Study of Brain, Mind and Behaviour at Princeton University that puts the human brain in context (i can hardly wait to hear the pedantic, nit-picking objections from several here, but as they say, fuck it.)

"There are more synapses in the brain than stars in the galaxy," Cohen notes. "We are studying the most complex device in the known universe."

There's a thread on the human brain and morality called is Biology Destiny here on this forum here, if you're interested:

http://www.evcforum.net/dm.php?control=page&t=16015&mpp=1...

Edited by Tangle, : Added link to Is Biology Destiny forum


Life, don't talk to me about life.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 86 by New Cat's Eye, posted 12-06-2011 1:55 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 88 by New Cat's Eye, posted 12-06-2011 3:08 PM Tangle has responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11540
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 88 of 142 (643387)
12-06-2011 3:08 PM
Reply to: Message 87 by Tangle
12-06-2011 2:40 PM


I believe that the degree is uncontestable (a statement of the blindingly obvious, the degree of difference is so large that no other animal intelligence would get onto the same scale.)

sigh

quote:
Koko {a gorilla} has a tested IQ of between 70 and 95 on a human scale,

Too:

quote:
Chimpanzees make tools and use them to acquire foods and for social displays; they have sophisticated hunting strategies requiring cooperation, influence and rank; they are status conscious, manipulative and capable of deception; they can learn to use symbola and understand aspects of human language including some relational syntax, concepts of number and numerical sequence; and they are capable of spontaneous planning for a future state or event. source

Haven't you heard of a chimp being described as being as smart as an X year old human? Is that "on the same scale"?

The kind is more contentious and not being a neuroscientist, I can't easily defend it - but I have develeoped an amateur interest in it.

Many/most/all animals have something normally called a brain. The major difference in humans from any other animal, including modern apes and extinct hominids, is the massive over-development of the prefrontal cortex and the functions it performs. This part of the brain is responsible for our recently developed ability to reason and calculate - it's the functions developed in this are that are used to govern more ancient functions like morals and emotions.

quote:
Area 10 is one of the cortical areas of the frontal lobe involved in higher cognitive functions such as the undertaking of initiatives and the planning of future actions. It is known to form the frontal pole of the macaque and human brain, but its presence and organization in the great and lesser apes remain unclear. It is here documented that area 10 also forms the frontal pole of chimpanzee, bonobo, orangutan, and gibbon brains. Imaging techniques and stereological tools are used to characterize this area across species and provide preliminary estimates of its absolute and relative size.

Area 10 has similar cytoarchitectonic features in the hominoid brain, but aspects of its organization vary slightly across species, including the relative width of its cortical layers and the space available for connections. The cortex forming the frontal pole of the gorilla appears highly specialized, while area 10 in the gibbon occupies only the orbital sector of the frontal pole. Area 10 in the human brain is larger relative to the rest of the brain than it is in the apes, and its supragranular layers have more space available for connections with other higher-order association areas. This suggests that the neural substrates supporting cognitive functions associated with this part of the cortex enlarged and became specialized during hominid evolution. source


Its a difference of degree, not kind.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 87 by Tangle, posted 12-06-2011 2:40 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 91 by Tangle, posted 12-07-2011 2:34 PM New Cat's Eye has responded
 Message 93 by Tangle, posted 12-07-2011 3:43 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
Panda
Member (Idle past 1183 days)
Posts: 2688
From: UK
Joined: 10-04-2010


Message 89 of 142 (643426)
12-06-2011 8:00 PM
Reply to: Message 84 by Tangle
12-06-2011 1:22 PM


Tangle writes:

So I'll ask for one final time to give me a single example, using any kind of mainstream definition that you like, of another species, living or dead, that even approximates to our own level of intelligence and consciousness. Even a very distant miss would do.

Neanderthals and gorillas.
But I'll leave this aspect of the discussion to Catholic Scientist, as he is doing a good job of showing how meaningless your argument is.

Tangle writes:

if it helps you at all in guaging the level of attainment you need to demonstrate in your dolphin, elephant, jay or chimp, I'm writing this with an iPad from the other side of the world to a machine I've never seen, by radio. So yes, technology is one method of establishing the intelligence of a species

This would mean that since Aristotle never used an iPad he is therefore less intelligent than you.
I think not.

You really need to address the rebuttals I make rather than just repeating yourself.
Currently you think that African tribes, Plato and Aristotle are all less intelligent than you - which is clearly not true.
Shall we add Newton to that list? I am certain he never even had a TV.

Tangle writes:

I do think that magnitude is a major differentiator

I never said it wasn't.
I have never claimed that we don't have a different level of intelligence.
In fact, if you had bothered to read my last post, you would see that I agree that we are the most intelligent.

Tangle writes:

and yes I do think consciousness is also vital

Are you saying that animals have no consciousness? Really?
The ability to experience or to feel? I know animals can do that.
I expect that you can't actually identify any aspect of consciousness that humans have but animals lack.

Tangle writes:

and no I've never claimed that 'intelligence' itself, no matteer how lowly, is unique to us, that was a straw man.

Then I wonder why you are still disagreeing when I say that "Real intelligence has evolved in nature countless times".
Maybe when you say...
Tangle writes:

I claim that it's different by both degree and kind.

...it makes people think that since you think that human intelligence is different in both degree and kind that it is unique to humans.
I can only judge your opinions by what you write - and you have written that you think that intelligence is unique to humans (i.e. has not evolved in other animals).

Real intelligence has evolved in nature countless times.


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 84 by Tangle, posted 12-06-2011 1:22 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 90 by Tangle, posted 12-07-2011 2:21 PM Panda has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 4882
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 90 of 142 (643500)
12-07-2011 2:21 PM
Reply to: Message 89 by Panda
12-06-2011 8:00 PM


Irritating
Panda writes:

This would mean that since Aristotle never used an iPad he is therefore less intelligent than you.

This sort of remark really doesn't help. I mean there's so many fallacies jemmied into that sentence that it makes me feel really tired - but I'll try to explain myself.

Aristotle, is likely to be more inteligent than both you and me added together. Just because he lived a long time ago or if he had lived today in a primitive environment like the tribal photo shown earlier - he, and all his society, would still be described, without dispute, as being intelligent, really intelligent. Not the minimalist intelligence of a parrot or even an ape.

He lived in an immensely sophisticated society with buildings constructed with advanced mathematics and organised building skills - masonry, carpentry, painters, gardeners, mosaic makers etc. He could build a fire and cook, plan and run an agricultural economy and trade. He could travel in ships to other continents using astronomical navigation or on land in horse drawn carts on roads built from fashioned stones. He could read and write, teach and pass on those teaching using libraries. He thought deeply and planned ahead. He imagined the future and invented believed in gods and practiced philosophical thought processes that considered the minds of others.

In short he had real intelligence that would be recognised by a visiting alien. Name me another species that could pass that test. I'm still waiting.


Life, don't talk to me about life.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 89 by Panda, posted 12-06-2011 8:00 PM Panda has responded

Replies to this message:
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