Skip to comments.What Happened to the Hominids Who May Have Been Smarter Than Us?
Posted on 01/05/2010 12:54:26 AM PST by Bobalu
Two neuroscientists say that a now-extinct race of humans had big eyes, child-like faces, and an average intelligence of around 150, making them geniuses among Homo sapiens.
The history of evolutionary studies has been dogged by the intuitively attractive, almost irresistible idea that the whole great process leads to greater complexity, to animals that are more advanced than their predecessors. The pre-Darwin theories of evolution were built around this idea; in fact, Darwins (and Wallaces) great and radical contribution was to throw out the notion of progress and replace it with selection from among a set of random variations. But people do not easily escape from the idea of progress. Were drawn to the idea that we are the end point, the pinnacle not only of the hominids but of all animal life.
Boskops argue otherwise. They say that humans with big brains, and perhaps great intelligence, occupied a substantial piece of southern Africa in the not very distant past, and that they eventually gave way to smaller-brained, possibly less advanced Homo sapiensthat is, ourselves.
(Excerpt) Read more at discovermagazine.com ...
Some Neanderthals had bigger brains than we do, and so do elephants and whales. So sure, size matters, but size is not everything.
When humans and Neanderthals first came in contact, their tools etc. were roughly the same. But then slowly something happened. Human tools became more complex, sophisticated -- hi-tech if you will. Neanderthals' did not. And Neanderthals never conceived of cave paintings or sculptures. Why? Was it just IQ? Or was it something else?
We don't really know. I suspect culture had something to do with it.
Our ancestors ate them.
Not in this picture.
It is. And Paul Allen center rear.
More like pork, actually.
Amerinds invented wampum and other symbolic means of memorializing important transactions and events.
You might like this thread.
Was this the founding cadre of Microsoft?
They went extinct becuase no one wanted to mate with the nerds.
Elephant brains are less dess than humans.
WILL TRY AND CHK LATER.
Sometimes I feel very dense, other times light headed.
Neither condition seems to improve my IQ. ;-)
Neanderthal brains were about 10% larger than ours, on average.
The Boskop skull of this article shows a brain 25% larger than ours.
Elephants and whales have much larger brains:
So who is to say in which case brain-size alone indicates a higher form of intelligence?
There have been creatures that looked somewhat like man for half a million years. There have been creatures with brains bigger than mans for a quarter of a million years. There have been creatures than looked just like man for fifty thousand years.
Man with cognitive abilities and behaviour patterns equivalent to ours popped up less than ten thousand years ago. After that happened, all of the attributes of man popped up in just a couple of thousand years. Aggriculture, animal husbandry, metal working, writing magically popped up after literally hundrends of thousands of years after creatures that by all appearances should have done it.
I do not think that it is by accident that the earth appears to be billions of years old but the appearance of modern human behaviour only developed in the last ten thousand years.
I watched with some amusement, a PBS special on evolution last week. They were looking at genes that make us human. One particular gene that affects brain development differs in 17 letters from the equivalent gene in chimps, but that gene only differs in two letter between a chimp and a chicken. They were quick to point out that this proved the evolution of man. Now just a quick look at the evidence whould indicate that this was an important gene. If it were conserved with such little change from the time when a chicken and a chimp would have a common ancestor a period of something like three hundred or four hundred million years, it is obvious that mutations to the gene is disastrous. How in the world could 17 random genes mutations pop up in the last two million years and the poor little hominids survive?
I’ll leave these questions for others to ponder.
You may want to explore brain size as a percentage of body mass.
Oh, good grief!
I have had an unusual number of hits the past few days, so I went through my logs looking for the source. Turns out people are reading my 2008 review of the "Boskops race"("The 'amazing' Boskops").
Over 10,000 people have read that post since the New Year began. That post has always gotten a recurring readership, because of a 2008 book by Gary Lynch and Richard Granger, Big Brain: The Origins and Future of Human Intelligence.
Evidently the book is about to come out in paperback. And Discover magazine, which gave the book a fairly positive review on its release, has now reprinted an excerpt detailing the wondrous features of the Boskops race ("What Happened to the Hominids Who Were Smarter Than Us?"). Someone copied the whole thing to Richard Dawkins' website. And people reading the excerpt are trying to find out more about this fantastic story, and finding my blog.
Well, to all those seeking the light of paleoanthropology, welcome!
We discovered fava beans and chianti. Once we did that, we need “big brain” pate to round things out.
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