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Medical How come science and technology blossomed with our species;

  1. Jan 27, 2007 #1
    Since our species is the only one that science and technology has really blossomed to such a degree, I'd think everybody knows which species I'm talking about. And, that blossoming is part of the clue that I'm seeing. People have tried to suggest human thinking is qualitativelly different; maybe it is, but the boundaries have proven pretty elusive so far, so I'm going to say that all life is intelligence; it took intelligence to create Gaia. There are many animals that use technologies from sea otters, to birds building their nests; spiders make webs; ancient bacteria built domes(cities of bacteria). Primates have used technologies for awhile now, but they havn't blossomed into civilization and mathematics quite the way we have. Why?

    The clue that I feel is pretty important comes from my years of hiking; i've always noticed how all the other animals never loose concentration on the very present moment; if they do, they die. In jungles, this concentration requirement is without dought, but what about elsewhere? Yes, other areas are less concentratiion dependent; basically, the form of the animal is important which has been pointed out time and time again - the opposable thumb; the upright walking style - even overlapping vision.

    What I'm saying is when the jungle turned into savanah's, the requirement of concentration on the very moment went way down compared to before for our species primate ancestors. This phenomenon happened many times to be sure before; but, before, the right form of animal to breed in the jungles(growing up in the trees improved our dependence on the eye and vision for our imagination); but, once the right form of life was freed of having to be in total concentration of the present moment, it's imagination was freed to think about other things.

    Now, that doesn't mean we were ready for abstract thought then; it took millions of years for the brain to reorganize itself once freed; but, that reorganization was a responce to being freed to think about other things; this also doens't mean our primate ancestors didn't have to concentrate from time to time, but quantitativelly, our minds were freed when the jungle receded, and then we went through a certain time period of change in the brain(and body).
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 27, 2007 #2
    I remember reading an article at physorg about how genetic evidence indicates the brain changed around 6K years ago; in other words, it isn't necessarilly that something qualitative is different from the rest of life, but that given the environement to release and explore in different ways, the brain will; i mean, were homo sapiens not intelligent pre-6k years ago? Of course not! They were intelligent when drawing in those caves, cooking with fire hundreds of thousands of years ago, making stone tools millions of years ago, finding food and dealing with all manner of enemies in rain forests even more millions of years ago and the same with all the rest of life.
  4. Feb 12, 2007 #3
    Do other animals that live in open spaces demonstrate any particular advantage in intelligence?

    My own pet theory is that changing environment happened to push us through a series of evolutionary hoops: We have adaptations for jungle(hands) savanah (legs) and water (nose and skin)

    Rather than being especially good at any one thing, we became highly adaptible.

    Our skill set also had to be adaptable which was solved through the ability to learn skills rather than simply inherit them.
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