Originally posted by Buehler
Yesss! I'm not saying evolution is BS cause obviously it's not? I'm saying evolution isn't responsible for giving us our mental capability that
far surpasses all other mammals! Because it didnt! that's where the intervention took place.
The "intervention" you speak of has been speculated to be psychedelic plants, including mushrooms that our ancestors may have eaten or ingested in
some form or another. If speculation is correct, it would probably be the result of accident at first, but then successive "experimenting".
People often explain psychedelic experiences as divine in nature and they tend to completely break down human constructs like time and space and the
all important ego.
While this isn't confirmed or denied by science, it definitely has prospects of being legitimate.
I think evolution to be completely real, but human intelligence is an anomaly in terms of other creatures around us. The psychedelic influence could
explain that anomaly to some degree as general intelligence is somewhat out of proportion to other creatures. Our body chemistry and reaction to
specific organic matter is different than that of a dog's, and therefore would produce different results upon ingestion.
That said..I believe that what is now known as general intelligence, at its core,may have originally evolved as an adaptation to deal with
evolutionarily novel, nonrecurrent problems. Evolution has already done all the thinking, so to speak, and equipped the human brain with the
appropriate psychological mechanisms, which produce in us the appropriate preferences, desired, cognitions, and emotions, and motivate adaptive
behavior in the context of our ancestral environment.
Essentially, all our ancestors had to do to solve their everyday adaptive problems was to follow the dictation of such evolved psychological
mechanisms and behave according to how they felt, following their emotions and feelings. Conscious and deliberate reasoning was seldom necessary for
our ancestors because most of their adaptive problems were recurrent and familiar, and they had innate solutions in their brains. Even in the extreme
continuity and constancy of the ancestral environment, however, there were likely occasional problems that were evolutionarily novel and nonrecurrent,
which required our ancestors to think and reason in order to solve.
Such evolutionarily novel problems could have been something like:
Lightning has struck a tree near the camp and set it on fire. The fire is now spreading to the dry underbrush. What should I do? How could I stop
the spread of the fire? How could I and my family escape it? (Since lightning never strikes the same place twice, this is guaranteed to be a
To the extent that these novel, nonrecurrent problems happened frequently enough in the ancestral environment (a different problem each time) and had
serious enough consequences for survival and reproduction, then any genetic mutation that allowed its carriers to think and reason would have been
selected naturally, and what we now call “general intelligence” could have evolved as a specific adaptation for novel, nonrecurrent problems. From
this perspective, general intelligence may not have been very important. At least no more important than any other specific psychological adaptation
in its evolutionary origin but it became universally important in modern life. It only became important because our current environment is almost
entirely evolutionarily novel.
I believe scientists and layman alike may have grossly exaggerated the importance of general intelligence in everyday life. Intelligence does not
help you with really important problems in your life, such as maintaining a successful relationship, being a good friend, and raising children. It
merely helps you with solving unimportant, evolutionarily novel problems like getting formal education, making money in a capitalist economy, and
flying an airplane.