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View Poll Results: Has the human capacity for intelligence evolved since the first humans came to be?
Yes 21 52.50%
No 14 35.00%
eR? I have no earthly idea what teh you are talking about... 5 12.50%
Voters: 40. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-21-2007, 04:41 PM   #1
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Evolution of Intelligence?

Since the very first hominid was inspired to gather a few pieces of wood and stone and bring them together for the purposes of making some task- whether mundane or technical- easier, the human ability to achieve has set the standard here on earth for intelligence. We've accomplished things great and small over the course of our existence here- whether you believe it to have been 2 million years or 6000 years ago- and there has been a question of whether or not we were as intelligent then as we are now or if we have gained intelligence through the course of evolution. Now bear in mind that I am speaking to the human capability/capacity for intelligence, not whether or not we have more knowledge to which the obvious answer is a resounding yes, in other words: knowledge is not to intelligence what apples are to apples but rather knowledge:intelligence::information:data within the scope of business computing and data mining (I really hope that was understandable, if not please ask for clarification).

Now to my question, do you think the human capacity for intelligence has grown/evolved or do you think we have the same capability, only now due to the amount of time that we have had to learn, we effectively know more? Another way of asking: Do you think that if we took a human from around 9000 B.C. and taught him all that we know today, would he be as capable as a modern-day human being?

Things to consider:
  • India 7000 BC: At this time we see the first sign of farming culture
  • Çatalhöyük: One of the first known sites of civilization (between 6300 & 5500 BC) as defined and recognized by today's standard's.
    Ancient Egyptians: By 6000 BC Egyptians in the southwestern corner of Egypt were herding cattle.
  • Mersin: First known fortification structure (in or around 4,500 BC)
  • Indus Civilization: Around 4000, pre-Harrappa, we see trade networks are established
  • 3000 BC, Ancient Egyptians are known to have established Medical institutions, not to mention Pyramids.
  • Sumer of Mesopotamia: One of the first great civilizations
  • Nippur: the formation of ziggurats, arch's, shrines, etc.


phylogenyຈcopyarchaic
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Old 12-21-2007, 04:47 PM   #2
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I would say no, with a large BUT

But because it depends on whose theory of evolution you subscribe to. The ape becomes man, or Adam and Eve started it all.

I remember reading somewhere that what "we" use of the brains capacity is about 20-30%. Brainiacs are in the 40-50% range.

That would say that your capacity far outstrips what you use, so it isn't that the capacity has grown, but rather the use of the existing capacity has increased.
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Old 12-21-2007, 04:52 PM   #3
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I think a guy from 9000 years ago would be so boggled at our technology that it would be tough.
However, I think a baby from 9000 years ago could be raised in our society and do fine.
People haven't changed much, we are still and always will be motivated by the same things. Hunger, greed, curiosity and .
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Old 12-21-2007, 04:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texlurch View Post
I would say no, with a large BUT

But because it depends on whose theory of evolution you subscribe to. The ape becomes man, or Adam and Eve started it all.

I remember reading somewhere that what "we" use of the brains capacity is about 20-30%. Brainiacs are in the 40-50% range.

That would say that your capacity far outstrips what you use, so it isn't that the capacity has grown, but rather the use of the existing capacity has increased.
I agree, but I think use of the capacity peaked more about 1 to two decades ago. I feel with all the "inventions" we have today we don't exercise our brains like we did 10-20 years ago. I mean think about websites and programming. When I learned it ten years ago I had to type code. Now it is drag and drop for the most part.
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Old 12-21-2007, 04:53 PM   #5
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Too difficult to know for sure.

The early ones may not have been gifted in the ability to invent physical, mechanical tools that would be left behind for us to discover, but may have sat around a fire started by a lightning strike and had very deep, philosophical conversations or structured grunts about their own origins.

Who knows.
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Old 12-21-2007, 05:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texlurch View Post
I would say no, with a large BUT

But because it depends on whose theory of evolution you subscribe to. The ape becomes man, or Adam and Eve started it all.

I remember reading somewhere that what "we" use of the brains capacity is about 20-30%. Brainiacs are in the 40-50% range.

That would say that your capacity far outstrips what you use, so it isn't that the capacity has grown, but rather the use of the existing capacity has increased.
Lol, I'm actually not an evolutionist, though I will admit that evolution is very much fact. The question is: to what degree? I believe in micro-evolution, not macro-evolution...

You DO however bring up a very good point and another altogether profound question. Has the use of our existing capacity for knowledge increased?

To answer it:
I would say yes simply due to the fact that we have uncovered many mysteries and made many discoveries since the very first humans. Basic physics would tell me that due to our requiring more usage of our brain, we effectively tap into that extra space. It's like with pc's: when 1gb used to suffice for the everyday computer user everything was fine and there was no need to expand or even consider expanding the need but due to increases in storage necessity for web browsing and storing of high quality files, we have increased the threshold for data storage exponentially. That is to say that there was some stimulus- or stimulus' (all of the new data)- that required us to use more brain power, hence, we do. That's a very simplified explanation because I don't want the thread to escape me lol...there will be all kinds of responses that I would miss by lengthening it as much as I would like...
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Old 12-21-2007, 05:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArturoC View Post
Too difficult to know for sure.

The early ones may not have been gifted in the ability to invent physical, mechanical tools that would be left behind for us to discover, but may have sat around a fire started by a lightning strike and had very deep, philosophical conversations or structured grunts about their own origins.

Who knows.
Oh it's definitely a profound question, but that's why I brought it up. I know yall should know how much of a nerd my is by now...

...now to comment on something you said:

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArturoC View Post
The early ones may not have been gifted in the ability to invent physical, mechanical tools that would be left behind for us to discover...
I think it should be pointed out that technology is something which builds upon itself, that is to say that one cannot get to version 5.0 without having first went through the succession of version 1.0 - 4.9. Simply because they did not have computers at that point does not necessarily mean that were someone to have given them the technology necessary, that they wouldn't the be able to replicate and effectively advance what we even know today astronomically...
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Old 12-21-2007, 05:13 PM   #8
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I don't subscribe to the evolutionist model myself. I lean more toward creationism. Now that that is out of the way.

A lot of the technology that we have today is on par with the reinventing of the wheel. We have taken old tech and made it better. Not to discount totally new discoveries. We can see that the Romans built aqua ducts and had running water and since then we have made it better and more effecient with the discoveries of new materials and better engineering. Now instead of hand forming many items we have discovered technologies like injection molding that speeds up the process and delivers a better product.

The ancients I believe were highly intelligent for their day. They were always thinking of how to make life better and easier. I look at it like this. What will the people of earth think of us in 1000 yrs? They will probably think the same thing that we think of the ancients. It's not that we were no less intelligent, but that we worked with what we had at the time.
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Old 12-21-2007, 05:17 PM   #9
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Well, the other part of the equation is that most of the "big" discoveries and inventions came apart due to wars. Most of our greatest strides came about since the late 1800's, but I don't really believe that the capacity for intelligence grew in leaps and bounds in that period.
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Old 12-21-2007, 05:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
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A lot of the technology that we have today is on par with the reinventing of the wheel. We have taken old tech and made it better. Not to discount totally new discoveries. We can see that the Romans built aqua ducts and had running water and since then we have made it better and more effecient with the discoveries of new materials and better engineering. Now instead of hand forming many items we have discovered technologies like injection molding that speeds up the process and delivers a better product.

The ancients I believe were highly intelligent for their day. They were always thinking of how to make life better and easier. I look at it like this. What will the people of earth think of us in 1000 yrs? They will probably think the same thing that we think of the ancients. It's not that we were no less intelligent, but that we worked with what we had at the time.
+1 I'm more or less of this line of thinkin, we simply differ on evolution a tad (I'm of the creationist mind myself- they don't necessarily contradict eah other as much as some would have you believe)
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Old 12-21-2007, 05:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Well, the other part of the equation is that most of the "big" discoveries and inventions came apart due to wars. Most of our greatest strides came about since the late 1800's, but I don't really believe that the capacity for intelligence grew in leaps and bounds in that period.
+1 Yep, technical advances only recently, due to the use of computers for quicker processing of information and such, have been taking large steps. Pre 20th century was nearly as archaic as 4000 years prior...
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Old 12-21-2007, 05:25 PM   #12
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Plus, look at what you are exposed to from the time you're born, compared to 200 years ago.

If the babies these days laid in their beds, watching mom sweep the dirt floor and pluck a chicken for dinner, how fast do you expect them to evolve?

Take this one step further. Lets not consider the capacity for intelligence, lets consider the effects of social interaction.

Take a baby born today in a desert settlement in Iraq, and swap it with one in downtown big city USA. Go take a look at them in 20 years to see who has the greater "intelligence". That would say the capacity to learn is there, but it needs the proper inputs.
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Old 12-21-2007, 05:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaJuNsOuLjA View Post
Oh it's definitely a profound question, but that's why I brought it up. I know yall should know how much of a nerd my is by now...
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Quote:

...now to comment on something you said:

I think it should be pointed out that technology is something which builds upon itself, that is to say that one cannot get to version 5.0 without having first went through the succession of version 1.0 - 4.9. Simply because they did not have computers at that point does not necessarily mean that were someone to have given them the technology necessary, that they wouldn't the be able to replicate and effectively advance what we even know today astronomically...

^^ Agreed. I was really asking if the demonstration of technological advances are the only/main pointer to intelligence? Maybe they didn't need an abacus because they could calculate and store all the information internally? Doubt it, but I'm just sayin'


I think the acceleration of technology and inventions was fed more by an increasing population density with which to share ideas or learn or build upon. * nothing to back this up, just my thoughts lol


There are several breakthrough discoveries leading from the learning about atoms to the atom bomb. I don't think it took an increase in the capacity for intelligence to get there, but the guys who built the bomb got a head start with an education.

So I'm thinking back then, with a very small population density, the lack of sharing, no known system of education, ideas could have been lost after a generation leading to starting from scratch over and over.
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Old 12-21-2007, 05:28 PM   #14
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well we werent smart enough to eat the apple.. guess we didnt start out with too much then...
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Old 12-21-2007, 05:29 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texlurch View Post
That would say the capacity to learn is there, but it needs the proper inputs.
^^^ This is important. It's getting at the root of what my belief on the matter is...very good logic here
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Old 12-21-2007, 05:30 PM   #16
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Quote:
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well we werent smart enough to eat the apple.. guess we didnt start out with too much then...

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Old 12-21-2007, 05:37 PM   #17
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Quote:
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I was really asking if the demonstration of technological advances are the only/main pointer to intelligence? Maybe they didn't need an abacus because they could calculate and store all the information internally?
I don't think technological advances are the only indicator of intelligence but based on the information available and the limits of our ability to observe them, I think that technological and other items are the best ways to discern their ability because the degree of technicality always speaks to an entities ability to 1) learn and 2) use or apply said knowledge

Quote:
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I think the acceleration of technology and inventions was fed more by an increasing population density with which to share ideas or learn or build upon. * nothing to back this up, just my thoughts lol

There are several breakthrough discoveries leading from the learning about atoms to the atom bomb. I don't think it took an increase in the capacity for intelligence to get there, but the guys who built the bomb got a head start with an education.

So I'm thinking back then, with a very small population density, the lack of sharing, no known system of education, ideas could have been lost after a generation leading to starting from scratch over and over.
^^^ Very good points. I think the density of the population definitely influences the potential for learning and making technological advances. The Egyptians are a prime example of this...compare their societies and technological advances to those same items against another smaller society of the time and I think you'll find that Egyptian advances far surpass many of those of their peer societies.
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Old 12-21-2007, 05:45 PM   #18
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Quote:
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... I think you'll find that Egyptian advances far surpass many of those of their peer societies.
Heck yes! It's amazing to see some modern surgical implements compared to ancient Egyptian tools. They are nearly identical except for the material used to make them.
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Old 12-21-2007, 05:49 PM   #19
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Heck yes! It's amazing to see some modern surgical implements compared to ancient Egyptian tools. They are nearly identical except for the material used to make them.
Lol and the funny thing is, given the inputs and investigation of some of today's greatest minds and vivid imaginations, we can't even figure out how they built the pyramids using the tools and technology available to them at the time. THAT boggles my mind...and provides further evidence of ancient humanity's capabilities and capacity for knowledge and knowing.

, they may even have been smarter...haha I kidd but it ain't far from possible when you consider some of the people around today...
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Old 12-21-2007, 06:00 PM   #20
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Quote:
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THAT boggles my mind...and provides further evidence of ancient humanity's capabilities and capacity for knowledge and knowing.
Same here!


Quote:
, they may even have been smarter...haha I kidd but it ain't far from possible when you consider some of the people around today...
It's probably true. We might be De-Evolving
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