The evolution of human intelligence - Essay Example

The first 3 million years of this timeline concern Scholarships, the following 2 million concern Staphylococcus and the final 2 million span the history of actual human species the Paleolithic). Many traits of human intelligence, such as empathy, theory of mind, mourning, ritual, and the use of symbols and tools, are already apparent in great apes although in lesser sophistication than in humans. The great apes show considerable abilities for cognition and empathy.

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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 symbols and understand aspects of human language Including some relational hanta, concepts of number and numerical sequence. Len one study, young chimpanzees outperformed human college students in tasks requiring remembering numbers.

This claim was refuted in a later study after it was noted that the chimpanzees had received extensive practice with the task while the students were evaluated on their first attempt. When human subjects were given time to practice, they substantially outperformed the young chimps. Chimpanzees are capable of empathy, having been observed to feed turtles in the wild, and show curiosity in wildlife (such as needed]. Hominess Around 10 million years ago, the Earth’s climate entered a cooler and drier phase, which led eventually to the Ice ages beginning some 2. Million years ago. One consequence of this was that the north African tropical forest began to retreat, being replaced first by open grasslands and eventually by desert (the modern Sahara). As their environment changed from continuous forest to patches of forest separated by expanses of grassland, some primates adapted too partly or fully ground-dwelling life. Here they were exposed to predators, such as the big cats, from whom they had previously en safe. These environmental pressures caused selection to favor bipedal: walking on hind legs.

This gave the Hominess’s eyes greater elevation, the ability to see approaching danger further off, and a more efficient means of locomotion (see main article for needed] It also freed the forelimbs (arms) from the task of walking and made the hands available for tasks such as gathering food. At some point the bipedal primates developed handedness, giving them the ability to pick up sucks, bones and stones and use them as weapons, or as tools for tasks such as ailing smaller animals, cracking nuts, or cutting up carcasses.

In other words, these primates developed the use of primitive technology. Bipedal tool-using primates detachedness, date to about 7 to 5 million years ago. From about 5 million years ago, the Hominid brain began to develop rapidly in both size and differentiation of function. It has been shown that Great Ape cooperation and communication is severely impeded by their competitiveness, and thus that the apes would revolutionize their culture-bearing ability if they could Just shrug off their competitiveness.

It is also well known that even early hominids lacked the size and sharpness of their canine teeth that apes use as a threat signal, suggesting pressman simply had no use for threat signals. That means they had already transcended ape competitiveness and thus developed superior cooperation and communication. There has been a gradual increase in brain volume as humans progressed along the timeline of evolution (see Hominess), starting from about 600 CM in Homo habits up to 1500 CM in Homo sapiens interrelations.

Thus, in general there’s a relation between brain volume and intelligence. However, modern Homo sapiens have a brain volume slightly smaller (1250 CM) than Neanderthals, and the Floors hominids (Homo floridness), nicknamed hobbies, had a cranial capacity of about 380 CM (considered small for a chimpanzee) about a third of that of H. Erects. It is proposed that they evolved from H. Erects as a case of insular dwarfism. With their three times smaller brain the Floors hominids apparently used fire and made tools as sophisticated as those of their ancestor H. Erects. In this case, it seems that for intelligence, the structure of the brain is more important than its volume. The social brain hypothesis was proposed by British anthropologist Robin Dunbar, who argues that human intelligence did not evolve primarily as a means to solve ecological problems, but rather intelligence evolved as a means of surviving and reproducing in large and complex social groups. Some of the behaviors associated with living in large groups include reciprocal altruism, deception and coalition formation.

These group dynamics relate to Theory of Mind or the ability to understand the thoughts ND emotions of others, though Dunbar himself admits in the same book that it is not the flocking itself that causes intelligence to evolve (as shown by ruminants). Dunbar argues that when the size of a social group increases, the number of different relationships in the group may increase by orders of magnitude. Chimpanzees live in groups of about 50 individuals whereas humans typically have a social circle of about 150 people, which is now referred to as Dunbar number.