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Why did ancient hominids have larger brains than us?

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posted on Jun, 12 2017 @ 06:18 AM
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originally posted by: andy06shake
a reply to: glend

What makes you think IQ has anything to do with natural selection or evolution?

Generally it's the strongest that survive not the smartest.

Children can be as intelligent as you like but if there immune system is garbage or if they suffer from some other malady or ailment, genetic, mental or otherwise, there chances of survival into adult hood and procreating to carry out there biological imperative has little to do with intellect and more to do with health and stability.


Right up until we get modern medicine to allow the weak to interbreed, creating a population dependant on complex medication and environmental control just to survive.

Bugger.




posted on Jun, 12 2017 @ 06:20 AM
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a reply to: glend

No trees to breathe in all that co2, this will be the real cause of global warming, off topic, sorry



posted on Jun, 12 2017 @ 07:08 AM
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originally posted by: continuousThunder
i seem to recall reading something about larger not necessarily being better, something to do with neuron density or similar.

the 'solution' you're suggesting is what's known as eugenics, and if that's a new term to you, you should give it a bit of a google and see how well it turns out in practice.


The downsides of eugenics are almost entirely political (or philosophical if you will). In practice it helps limit hereditary mental and physical problems, and with modern techniques it could help cultivate certain positive traits too, as well as it could ensure proportional gender distribution.



posted on Jun, 12 2017 @ 09:21 AM
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originally posted by: glend
I was just reading of a recent find in China of a 120,000 year old hominid skull being 1800cc in size compared to average of 1260cc for modern day humans. It could be the first finding of a Denisovan Skull but awaits DNA testing. But when I searched the internet for reasons for their larger cranial size, the typical response found was - "larger eye and brain size was required for hunting". But that didn't sit well with me, an owl is a fabolous hunter, has large eyes, but with a brain size typically 100x smaller than our own.

Perhaps I am stating the obvious. But if our environment no longer rewards the survival of the fitest or smartest. Then human brain size must continue to devolve whilst technology advances (from sharing of intelligence), until an equalizition occurs, resulting in the stagnation of both technology and human intelligence.

So how we can ensure humanity evolves? Would it not kill two stones (over population growth and ensuring human evolution) to have a one child policy for couples with average IQ of less than 100. A two child policy for couples with average IQ between 100 and 120. And unlimited child policy for couples with average IQ of 120 and higher.

Would you agree to those sacrifices to help humanity evolve?

For those interested in the possible Denisovan Skull find:



One cranium has a huge brain volume of 1800 cubic centimeters—on the upper end for both Neandertals and moderns—plus a Neandertal-like hollow in a bone on the back of its skull. Both cra­nia have prominent brow ridges and inner ear bones that resemble those of Neander­tals but are distinct from our own species, Homo sapiens. However, the crania also differ from the western Neandertals of Europe and the Middle East. They have thinner brow ridges and less robust skull bones, similar to early modern humans and some other Asian fossils. “They are not Neandertals in the full sense,” says co-author Erik Trinkaus, a paleoanthropologist at Washington Univer­sity in St. Louis in Missouri.
Link


There's a theory out there that food has a direct impact on our evolution.
Think of it this way. The most powerful coal locomotive on paper is more powerful, larger engine, etc than a diesel locomotive, but just because it's more powerful, and larger doesn't mean it's more efficient. That's how the brain works.

When humans started cooking their food they could chew tough meats, tough vegetables, and digest them faster, and more efficient, it also killed off a lot of harmful viruses and bacteria.

Right there humans began evolving at a rapid rate. The amount of energy used to chew and digest is rather large, it burns a lot of calories; imagine hunting, traveling, foraging and fighting or digging and picking food from anywhere to a day to up to a week between meals? THEN you gotta chew this dead animal or a tuber root vegetable, and then digest it. Now all you gotta do is hunt, forage, and then build a fire throw the food on there, rest up around a fire and dig in.
This of course led to an even larger step in our evolution, probably the biggest ever, the settling and cultivation of plants, which meant even more energy is used for brain power rather than traveling and hunting.

Some food for thought tho, imagine the epiphanies some of our ancestors had while sitting around a fire, watching the fires lick in random directions, and the bonds created.



posted on Jun, 12 2017 @ 10:07 AM
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originally posted by: watchitburn

originally posted by: glend
a reply to: NthOther

The Amazon forest will be destroyed within 50 years. Indonesia's sumatran rainforest within 20 years. Clearly a planet without the means to make oxygen isn't workable for future generations. So something must be done today regardless how it effects your life or mine. Else it will result in extinction of all life.

China has already introduced a two child policy.


1. Through evolution, our brain has become more efficient, requiring less mass. Neanderthals are extinct for a reason.

2. Half of the planet's oxygen comes from phytoplankton, the other half comes from land plants. Meaning less then 1/4 comes from rainforests. We're not in danger of asphyxiation anytime soon.

3. Are you volunteering as the first IQ sacrifice? Because your reasoning skills would seem to make you a prime candidate.




1. Thats speculation. The intervention of language and digital communications allows millions of human brains to work in unison, each specilizing in specific tasks, to increase knowlege exponentially. Thawfting all the knowledge obtained in prehistory in just one decade. So I don't believe intelligence of the human brain has increased dramatically in last 50,000 years at all. Only the networking of intelligence. Which if you know anything about neural networking is where the real magic resides.

Climate change may have killed of the Neanderthals with a little help from the Cromags.

2. Phytoplankton has decreased by 40 percent since 1950 as well.

3. That would not bother me at all. I personally wouldn't look at as a sacrifice but a gift for future generations.



posted on Jun, 12 2017 @ 10:09 AM
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a reply to: VforVendettea

I'd argue the point that we don't need govenments at all. But I am fan of the law by frederic bastiat.



posted on Jun, 12 2017 @ 10:31 AM
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originally posted by: TrueBrit
a reply to: glend

I think you are missing a trick here.

The skull only tells you about the cubic capacity of the braincase. It tells you nearly nothing about the construction of the brain itself, how many neurons are in operation within it, how developed or under developed (when compared with current human development) various sections are.

Put another way, the craft which landed on the moon had on board computers which were actually quite physically large. Yet, I have in my pocket a computer which could run rings around that computer, as well as give me access to the World Wide Web.

Size, as they say, is not everything. It is very probable that while having more mass, the arrangement and developmental priority given to different parts of the brain of this hominid, are less efficient in terms of processing speed, than the brains of the modern human. Its linguistic centres for example, were probably much less developed than ours, meaning its ability to communicate complex concepts, or indeed form them in their own mind, was probably far less than we have to work with.


Perhaps but without a Neanderthal brain to compare, its speculation. When they studied einsteins brain they found it had far more glial cells than any other brain, previous tested. They surmized that the production of glial cells in Einsteins brain increased from stimulation from working on logic and mathematical problems all his life.

So the brain seems to behave like a muscle. But unlike muscles, its size is restricted by the size of the skull.



posted on Jun, 12 2017 @ 10:34 AM
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originally posted by: fatkid
a reply to: glend

No trees to breathe in all that co2, this will be the real cause of global warming, off topic, sorry



Its the reason I created the thread.

How do we answer the destruction of the environment. We cannot continue to demand freedoms if those freedoms destroy humanity. Something has to give.



posted on Jun, 12 2017 @ 10:43 AM
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originally posted by: glend
I was just reading of a recent find in China of a 120,000 year old hominid skull being 1800cc in size compared to average of 1260cc for modern day humans. It could be the first finding of a Denisovan Skull but awaits DNA testing. But when I searched the internet for reasons for their larger cranial size, the typical response found was - "larger eye and brain size was required for hunting". But that didn't sit well with me, an owl is a fabolous hunter, has large eyes, but with a brain size typically 100x smaller than our own.


Cranial capacity does not necessarily mean "better brain."

If you click here, you see the endocast of a black bear brain It's about the same size as a human child's brain but you will notice that the shape is different (less cerebral matter) and it's less "wrinkly." The "wrinkles" are an efficient method of allowing us a huge brain that fits into a tiny space.

Bone Clones also has endocasts human brains and those of our distant cousin, the chimpanzee. Chimps are extremely intelligent but you can see from the anatomy that they're never going to be able to master calculus.



posted on Jun, 12 2017 @ 11:04 AM
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a reply to: Byrd

I know but they close cousins so we should not see a great variance.

Only difference between chimp and human brains apart from brain size is the neocortex stated here which is "responsible for sophisticated cognitive functions as language, self-awareness, and problem solving".

An analysis of a Neanderthal's fossilised hyoid bone suggests Neanderthal's had the ability to speak so their neocortex might have been fully developed. Findings that they were very social creatures, burying their dead with flowers, painting on cave walls etc, suggest they might have been as advanced as the other hominoids.
edit on 12-6-2017 by glend because: spelling



posted on Jun, 12 2017 @ 12:30 PM
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originally posted by: glend
a reply to: Byrd

I know but they close cousins so we should not see a great variance.

Only difference between chimp and human brains apart from brain size is the neocortex stated here which is "responsible for sophisticated cognitive functions as language, self-awareness, and problem solving".

An analysis of a Neanderthal's fossilised hyoid bone suggests Neanderthal's had the ability to speak so their neocortex might have been fully developed. Findings that they were very social creatures, burying their dead with flowers, painting on cave walls etc, suggest they might have been as advanced as the other hominoids.


There's actually quite a bit of difference in the brains... and the BBC article is several years old and a bit out of date. They've been shown to have the FOX P2 gene and they owned a pretty sophisticated tool kit.



posted on Jun, 12 2017 @ 01:42 PM
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a reply to: glend

Playing Devil's advocate. Bigger requires more energy. So it kept the same processing power, or even increased it, and simply became more efficient thus making it smaller. Much like computers get smaller while being faster.



posted on Jun, 12 2017 @ 03:36 PM
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originally posted by: Byrd

originally posted by: glend
a reply to: Byrd

I know but they close cousins so we should not see a great variance.

Only difference between chimp and human brains apart from brain size is the neocortex stated here which is "responsible for sophisticated cognitive functions as language, self-awareness, and problem solving".

An analysis of a Neanderthal's fossilised hyoid bone suggests Neanderthal's had the ability to speak so their neocortex might have been fully developed. Findings that they were very social creatures, burying their dead with flowers, painting on cave walls etc, suggest they might have been as advanced as the other hominoids.


There's actually quite a bit of difference in the brains... and the BBC article is several years old and a bit out of date. They've been shown to have the FOX P2 gene and they owned a pretty sophisticated tool kit.


Genes encode the manufacture of the body, like a more advanced neocortex. So if Neanderthal's had the ability to speak they clearly would have had the gene's to make it so. The FOX P2 gene gene was found in Neanderthal DNA back in 2007. I havn't checked to see if it has been confirmed.



posted on Jun, 12 2017 @ 03:49 PM
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a reply to: OccamsRazor04

Yes generally but they were close cousins so nervous system might have been similar to our own. Without an education system to teach infants knowledge their brains might have developed larger so they could use logic to acquire knowledge whereas all we need do is go to a book.

For example, instead of working out numbers in our head. We use calculators and computers to give us the answers. Which of the two helps brain growth.



posted on Jun, 12 2017 @ 03:51 PM
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a reply to: glend

Honestly, I thought Denisovans were just... bigger, all around. I could be wrong.

There is evidence that our brains are shrinking though.

We are becoming less social, and social = smart/bigger brain. Maybe that's it. We just aren't selecting for those social traits as intensively so our brains are shrinking, which means we could be getting dumber over time.

There are schools of thought that say that brain volume isn't the be all end all of intelligence, but...

Trump is president so, there's that. I'm hedging toward decreased intelligence. (I know, I know, but I couldn't resist).



posted on Jun, 12 2017 @ 04:36 PM
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a reply to: lordcomac

There are a multitude of starving people, lots of them being children, in Africa and other areas of the planet that die everyday down to lack of clean water sources, malnutrition and a variety of other maladies that may disagree with your assessment of complex medication being available.

And we did not just get modern medicine, medicine, just like any other tool or technologies develop overtime.

Humanity has always exploited the environment, its kind of what we do best, or worst, depending on perspective.

But it does seem to be "A Brave New World" these days, Huxley and Orwell certainly knew there stuff.



posted on Jun, 12 2017 @ 04:58 PM
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a reply to: glend

There is a direct correlation with brain size and body size

www.cfa.harvard.edu...

Maybe they had larger muscles and/or higher blood pressure? Perhaps nature was still trying to work out the best
connections between all the brain areas?



posted on Jun, 12 2017 @ 05:19 PM
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OP: Because,.. obviously! They needed a bigger "ruck sack".. to store all that Darwin's knowledge. But then again? they aren't "asking", but, you are? .... Why do you ask, to bring yourself down to their level? They ain't here.. But you are? Here's why. They needed a place to put + and - symbols, and federal I.O.U. "notes"...(takes up a lot of mental space)..



posted on Jun, 12 2017 @ 05:19 PM
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OP: Because,.. obviously! They needed a bigger "ruck sack".. to store all that Darwin's knowledge. But then again? they aren't "asking", but, you are? .... Why do you ask, to bring yourself down to their level? They ain't here.. But you are? Here's why. They needed a place to put + and - symbols, and federal I.O.U. "notes"...(takes up a lot of mental space)..



posted on Jun, 13 2017 @ 06:35 AM
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a reply to: glend

maybe ancient effects of zinka virus like outbreak?




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