Skip to comments.Evolution of human 'super-brain' tied to development of bipedalism, tool-making
Posted on 04/21/2011 8:15:16 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
CU-Boulder Research Associate John Hoffecker said there is abundant fossil and archaeological evidence for the evolution of the human mind, including its unique power to create a potentially infinite variety of thoughts expressed in the form of sentences, art and technologies. He attributes the evolving power of the mind to the formation of what he calls the "super-brain," or collective mind, an event that took place in Africa no later than 75,000 years ago...
While anatomical fossil evidence for the capability of speech is controversial, the archaeological discoveries of symbols coincides with a creative explosion in the making of many kinds of artifacts. Abstract designs scratched on mineral pigment show up in Africa about 75,000 years ago and are widely accepted by archaeologists as evidence for symbolism and language...
While crude stone tools crafted by human ancestors beginning about 2.5 million years ago likely were an indirect consequence of bipedalism -- which freed up the hands for new functions -- the first inklings of a developing super-brain likely began about 1.6 million years ago when early humans began crafting stone hand axes, thought by Hoffecker and others to be one of the first external representations of internal thought.
(Excerpt) Read more at eurekalert.org ...
Frayer said that his findings on right-handedness have implications for understanding the language capacity of ancient populations, because language is primarily located on the left side of the brain, which controls the right side of the body, there is a right handedness-language connection. "The general correlation between handedness and brain laterality shows that human brains were lateralized in a 'modern' way by at least half a million years ago and the pattern has not changed since then," he said. "There is no reason to suspect this pattern does not extend deeper into the past and that language has ancient, not recent, roots."
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WTF is a collective brain? That sounds like the antithesis of creativity.
Me not stupid just because I left handed.
Shortest possible answer... A collective brain is what you'd have if human communication prior to the incident associated with the tower of Babel were basically telepathic (which is one interpretation of Julian Jayne's findings), if Jaynes were correct in thinking that consciousness as we know it did not exist 4000 years ago, and if consciousness in those days were basically general rather than individual.
Michael Crichton wrote a science fiction novel called “Prey”. The plot concerns a research lab develops tiny nano-machines capable of replicating animate objects capable of intelligent behavior when many of them swarm together. It’s a step up from the idea that certain insects, like bees or termites, that seem just as stupid as any other insect when acting alone, are capable of building complex structures and organized colonies when interacting in large numbers.
I Googled “collective brain”. Computer software people seem to be trying to simulate this idea.
The Democrat Party?
Yeah, it's called The Cloud.
I was in college right about the time Jaynes' big book - name escapes me - came out. It came up in a theology class (Catholic University), and the discussion became so heated, people almost came to blows. As I remember it, much of it revolved around humans not being self-aware (or something), prior to a certain time in the neolithic era.
I thought it was idiotic then and thirty years later, nothing has changed my mind, at least that would suggest our "self-awareness" happened sometime in the 1K-2K BC range, especially considering some of the archeological finds that have been proven to predate even Mesopotamia.
Maybe a better name might be the “integrated brain”. This seems to be the idea of Jaynes, for one. I was quite impressed by his book, although I couldn’t agree with his conclusions. Even so, the scope of his thinking impressed me. After all, if you believe that there was a natural origin of human consciousness, you must face the question how it occurred.
I will say that whatever the natural history of consciousness may be, its mere existence is beyond the ken of materialist philosophy.
There is no real way to believe that present human languages evolved from some original spoken language like ours, too many things such a theory could never explain.
as a beekeeper i have often marveled at how the hive is like a brain in its complexity.
also, the idea that the internet could usher in the most significant human advance in 75,000 years is also intriguing.