Qu, on Human Evolution

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posted on Apr, 5 2013 @ 09:41 PM
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Sorry, I'm too tired to make this pretty with pics n' links n' stuff. Let me just ask this:

I've seen documentaries claiming that eating meat and shellfish is what increased the size of the human brain, thereby giving us intelligence. But, if PRE-man was some kind of tree-dwelling, frightened creature (prey for other animals) didn't it first take intelligence for us to learn how to hunt for animals/meat and swim for shellfish?




posted on Apr, 5 2013 @ 09:43 PM
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reply to post by jiggerj
 


IT took the monolith...



From Bone To Satellites.



and a lil bit of good ol' competition for resources
edit on 5-4-2013 by Lysergic because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 5 2013 @ 10:22 PM
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I read that cooking food which allowed the bacteria to be destroyed and making it sterile is what made are stomach shrink since the food is cleaners and can be digested easier.

In return of the stomach shrinking the brain grew bigger and we got intelligent.



posted on Apr, 5 2013 @ 10:33 PM
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reply to post by jiggerj
 


Excellent question.

Early Humans used to collect berries and grains and whatnot and store them in whatever they had, like a hole in the ground, or a hollow tree or whatever.
It rained and their store got wet and waterlogged and the containers filled with water.
Soon, natural airborne yeasts were feasting on the dissolved carbohydrates and turning them into alcohol and CO2, breaking down the plant-proteins into readily digestible amino-acids.

People tasted of this beverage and found it to be good.

It encouraged social behavior and led to higher forms of communication, such as friendly discussions and brainstorming sessions.

The more beer they drank, the smarter they got.

Eventually, someone stood up and said..." Darn it, Ugg go fishing"

The rest is history.

How beer saved the world.




edit on 5/4/2013 by Theflyingweldsman because: God is yeast.



posted on Apr, 6 2013 @ 12:28 AM
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reply to post by jiggerj
 


I've been studying human ancestry for years, and some day I'll get around to making a proper thread sharing my research. Till then, here's a potentially satisfying answer to your question:

Human intelligence took millions of years to develop. We didn't eat shellfish and meat one day and the next day had intelligence. A pretty vast time scale, in which people only lived 30 or so years, if lucky. Between predators, disease, food shortages, natural calamities, and tribal in-fighting, there's a reason why your Pre-Man isn't alive today. Brain capacity grew very slowly, and intelligence, mostly by trial and error.

But wait, we need to clarify "human". I'll only allow Homo Sapiens to be called modern humans, and they date back to 500,000 years ago.

To get a bit more technical, your tree-hugging pre-man is often referred to as Homo Habilis. They were foragers that slept in trees, and kept to the cover of the forest to evade predators. Rather small, and quick, they are still considered our ancestors. No they weren't monkeys, no prehensile tail and they had opposing thumbs, and used crude tools. They date to about 2.4 million years ago, and probably used fire for warmth. Mind you, I'm just doing a quick summary, no fancy pics or links here.

I'll toss in a dash of Homo Athropithicus, and Homo Heidelbergensis for a bit of filler.

Next comes along Homo Ergaster, master of fire usage, and toolmaking, at about 1.8 MYA, in Africa. Curiously enough, Homo Erectus had the same skill set, but appeared to be evolving separately, at roughly the same time, in Asia.

We all know that there were no Greyhound buses back then, so the chances of contact are slim, and even so, only by foot, yet we have both Ergaster and Erectus evolving thousands of miles apart, with both having very similar lifestyles. Quite the anomaly often overlooked by academia. Of course, Ergaster gets credit for the "Out of Africa" Theory taught to our kids today, but Erectus was firmly established in Asia by the time Erectus got there for a lil whoopie with the natives.

They also say that Ergaster migrated towards Europe, and evolved into Homo Neandertalis. Not me.

I'm done rambling, but in short, Homo Sapiens (you and I) trace back to 500,000 years, bellies all full of meat and shellfish, with our modern brain capacity. The size of our cranium grows smaller the further back in time you go. They still haven't found the "missing link" between 1.3 and 1.8 million years ago, nor accounted for the sudden "final" jump in cranial capacity.

To answer your Qu more directly: all Homos were omnivorous, eating both meat and veggies, but there's not really any evidence a high protein diet caused an increase in brain capacity over the evolution of our hominid lineage. They ate what they had handy (even each other...GASP! There's evidence that our earliest ancestors ate the weak and wounded for nourishment), and simply tried to survive.

We're evidence they did good enough.

Fascinating topic, thanks jigger.



posted on Apr, 6 2013 @ 02:01 AM
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reply to post by jiggerj
 


Conscious awareness existed before monkeys. A central intelligence agency in the brain of creatures which uses the sensations of external events, to survive. Monkeys had brains and used them to eat and live and fight and reproduce and avoid predators and catch prey and communicate with each other in some way. According to what you are saying, and what seems likely is that an increased variety/quality and quantity of different nutrients, proteins, vitamins,minerals etc. did aid , directly, in the advancement of the cognitive faculties of the pre-human monkey species.



posted on Apr, 6 2013 @ 02:36 AM
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reply to post by ImaFungi
 


I'm more inclined to believe that the challenges involved in getting food into our bellies back then was more important to the increase of our brain capacity, than the actual contents of the foodstuffs we were ingesting. If all our nourishment needs could be attained without effort, we'd have all ended up as contented lard asses, like the orangs. Or dumb, but well buffed gorillas.



posted on Apr, 6 2013 @ 07:00 AM
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My question is, how long has human intellect remain intact and unchanged?

It seems to me that intellect is merely an ability to think in the abstract, which gives rise to tool usage. Like a switch that gets turned on, if you will. Some humans obviously will have a great ability to think in abstract terms, and some will have a greater ability to relate the abstract to the concrete.

Another thought I have relates to bicameralism. It seems entirely reasonable and possible that the human mind took another great evolutionary step around the time that we started seeing written records. And since then, we have seen that written records have lower and lower proportions, increasingly and incrementally so, as it relates to religion.

I wonder if ancient man had the same propensity to take all new technologies and apply them to sex, like we do?

As it relates my first question....are humans "different" now from then solely because of our collective knowledge base?



posted on Apr, 6 2013 @ 07:03 AM
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reply to post by ImaFungi
 


The brain uses huge amounts of sugar (look at any PET scan). That and the bladder.

I have heard of a theory that consuming alcohol drove human intelligence as we had an easily stored source of carbohydrates and often sugar rich brews of partially fermented fruits/grains/etc.

who knows. I would suspect that various monkeys have eaten fermented fruit from beneath trees for ages.



posted on Apr, 6 2013 @ 07:46 AM
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Originally posted by bigfatfurrytexan
reply to post by ImaFungi
 


The brain uses huge amounts of sugar (look at any PET scan). That and the bladder.

I have heard of a theory that consuming alcohol drove human intelligence as we had an easily stored source of carbohydrates and often sugar rich brews of partially fermented fruits/grains/etc.

who knows. I would suspect that various monkeys have eaten fermented fruit from beneath trees for ages.


Wouldn't that include every species of creature that eats fruit? Surely, they've all eaten fermented fruit from beneath trees since the beginning of, well, fruit.



posted on Apr, 6 2013 @ 10:41 AM
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Originally posted by IvanAstikov
reply to post by ImaFungi
 


I'm more inclined to believe that the challenges involved in getting food into our bellies back then was more important to the increase of our brain capacity, than the actual contents of the foodstuffs we were ingesting. If all our nourishment needs could be attained without effort, we'd have all ended up as contented lard asses, like the orangs. Or dumb, but well buffed gorillas.


Yes I would agree certainly. But Im just saying that the human brain is physical and physiologicaly different then other species isnt it, in terms of energy consumption and what the different glands and areas are capable of. So of course using the brain in novel ways over time, and passing information from generation to generation genetically and culturally, expanded the potential of the mind, but I also think diet might have played a role. An animal is nothing without its diet. You are what you eat.
edit on 6-4-2013 by ImaFungi because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 6 2013 @ 10:48 AM
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reply to post by jiggerj
 


I am sure they would. I was using monkeys metaphiorically, as the representative of the discussion.

I hunt at a hog ranch that feeds its wild hogs moldy corn acquired from local ranchers who basically give it away if he hauls it off. He says sometimes he gets batches of food that you can smell the fermentation in. Then we joked about drunk hogs running amok.
edit on 6-4-2013 by bigfatfurrytexan because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 6 2013 @ 11:29 AM
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Originally posted by Theflyingweldsman

People tasted of this beverage and found it to be good.

It encouraged social behavior and led to higher forms of communication, such as friendly discussions and brainstorming sessions.

The more beer they drank, the smarter they got.

Eventually, someone stood up and said..." Darn it, Ugg go fishing"

The rest is history.

How beer saved the world.



My Bohemian and Irish ancestors would have totally agreed with that one. I feel really smart after about 6 beers, but I believe most sober people would disagree.



posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 05:07 AM
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There really is very little difference between the brains of most mammals. Even mice, cats and dogs have the same type of brain as humans. Between say, a chimpanzee and a human, there is barely any difference at all:


All mammals are intelligent in the same way. No physical difference has ever been found between a chimpanzees brain and a human's brain which would enable anyone to say "ah, that is evolutionarily new, that explains the extra human intelligence".

So it is likely that standard evolutionary processes did not play a big factor in the development of the extra human capabilities we see today. Diet will only improve the reproduction ability of an animal so much. Having plenty of high quality food does not mean that nature will suddenly rapidly evolving the structure of a brain to make it more intelligent. There isn't enough selection pressure in the idea of 'high quality diet = evolution of advanced intelligence' to explain the very rapid (less than 2 million years probs) introduction of human tool-making and art and civilization etc

Complex and structured languages is probably what drove humans apart from primates. Perhaps it only required a very slight neurological evolutionary twist to differentiate us from other primates, and everything since has been cultural?

Rapid evolution of language and intelligent human cultures could be explained by sexual selection theory. It doesn't require a survival selection pressure at all.

en.wikipedia.org...


Sexual selection is a mode of natural selection in which some individuals outreproduce others of a population because they are better at securing mates.[1] The concept was introduced by Charles Darwin in his 1859 book On the Origin of Species, is a significant element of his theory of natural selection. The sexual form of selection

... depends, not on a struggle for existence, but on a struggle between the males for possession of the females; the result is not death to the unsuccessful competitor, but few or no offspring.[2]
... when the males and females of any animal have the same general habits ... but differ in structure, colour, or ornament, such differences have been mainly caused by sexual selection.[3]



posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 12:20 PM
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reply to post by yampa
 




everything since has been cultural?


Getting back to the beer thing, perhaps it was intoxication that caused the development of social structures. Curiously enough, every culture ever developed had their own form of alcoholic beverage, brewed from whatever locally available fermentable they had.

Culturalization would also speed the development of language, provide more food, security, and overall give a group a much needed advantage.



posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 01:29 PM
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reply to post by yampa
 


Yea, but how come we cant teach animals to talk, and write, and invent, and build, and do the movements we can, and think like we can, and store information in our brains like we can? Isnt it because our hardware (physical bodies and minds components and mechanisms) is different in some way? And along with this physical difference, the mind always evolving a software or informational progression (storage of memory,information, development of language, writing, to store information physically outside the brain) probably allowed the human to race past other animals in terms of physical and mental potential and ability.



posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 09:43 PM
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reply to post by ImaFungi
 




Yea, but how come we cant teach animals to talk, and write, and invent, and build, and do the movements we can, and think like we can, and store information in our brains like we can?


That is the million dollar question. Answer that, and you win a Nobel prize.

Homo Sapien is the pinnacle of achievement in evolution. (So far. I'll venture we are on the cusp of a new evolutionary step. Different thread, of course.)

Chimps have been trained to "speak", using symbolism, and communicate with humans. Captive chimps hardly have the innovative freedom to run through millions of years of natural evolution. Perhaps, if ancient Sapiens had the wherewithal to train chimps, they'd be up to speed, but seriously, everything was looked at as a food source. Way back in the evolutionary tree, we were more worried about survival than educating our dim-witted cousins.

But let's diverge into pets. Mankind has domesticated animals. We've never taught them to talk, because they don't have the physiological requirements for speech. We know that, and speech is not required. Our dogs know us, and never speak a word. Cats, the same. Verbal speech is not required in all reality, to maintain a relationship. Verbal cues are enough.

Deep down, the mystery will be solved by auditory signals. All domesticated beasts use auditory signals, perhaps coupled with sight, but in reality, speech, barking, meowing, and mooing are all auditory signals.

Communication. Audible. The complexity leads to intelligence.



posted on Apr, 8 2013 @ 05:57 AM
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Originally posted by ImaFungi
reply to post by yampa
 


Yea, but how come we cant teach animals to talk, and write, and invent, and build, and do the movements we can, and think like we can, and store information in our brains like we can? Isnt it because our hardware (physical bodies and minds components and mechanisms) is different in some way? And along with this physical difference, the mind always evolving a software or informational progression (storage of memory,information, development of language, writing, to store information physically outside the brain) probably allowed the human to race past other animals in terms of physical and mental potential and ability.


Mammals do store information in their brains just like we do, that's my point - the neocortex is the main memory substrate for human learning, and that neocortex is practically identical between chimps and humans. Physically, there is barely any difference between a chimp's brain and a human's.

But yes, something must be genetically different too, because humans obviously have a bias towards learning complex languages and we don't see that in any other animal.

But that difference doesn't have to involve an evolution of new neural functions - it could be that a very slight mutation was all it took for parts of our brain to start dedicating larger areas of cortical real-estate to more complex, long-term memories (thus enabling language).

It's incorrect (based on current neuroscience) to say that the human brain is 'constantly evolving', because there is no evidence of that. Neocortical structure has barely changed between us and other animals.

Nutrition alone is not a proper answer about the reasons we diverged from other apes. I don't think alcohol is a particularly good answer either when you consider the thousands of more powerful and profound natural substances which grow in abundance in the natural world. Use of the drinks like Soma stretch way back into the earliest humans civilizations and there is no reason to believe that our earlier ancestors did not know about that type of thing.

"We have drunk Soma and become immortal; we have attained the light, the Gods discovered."



posted on Apr, 8 2013 @ 06:43 AM
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reply to post by ImaFungi
 



Guess Ill throw in my 2 cents..

...I think of the brain as a modem. A reciever of information. Some beings have greater capacity for reception than others.

Intelligence is external to the brain. Brain and mind are two separate things, with the brain being the mind reciever.





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