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Dolphin brain

Richard Hall rhall at uvi.edu
Mon Feb 1 15:37:00 EST 1999

At 11:36 AM -0800 2/1/99, Krakatoa wrote:
>In article <v04011701b2d8942d4e84@[]>, rhall at uvi.edu (Richard
>Hall) wrote:
>> At 1:03 AM -0800 1/30/99, Michael C. Cheney wrote:
>> >In article <v04011700b2d0b1c2274f@[]>, rhall at uvi.edu (Richard
>> >Hall) wrote:
>> >
>> >| Natural selection does not appear to favor humans or dolphins of extreme
>> >| intelligence...at least there is no evidence that the mean has
>>shifted one
>> >| way or the other.  It is only sufficient that animals possess sufficient
>> >
>> >What is your basis for this statement?  Are you saying that there is no
>> >evidence that the average human intelligence has changed throughout
>> >evolutionary history?  What time scale are you thinking of, and what
>> >evidence is there that it hasn't changed?
>> rlh replies:
>> There is no evidence that human intelligence has increased in the 50,000 -
>> 200,000 years of homo sapiens.  Do not be fooled by the trappings of
>> technology and benefits of economics.  Despite the accumulation of
>Well, you can also make the counterargument, there is no evidence that it
>has not changed. In fact, I think there is considerable evidence that
>intelligence has increased in the last 50-200,000 years. You are confusing
>intelligence with something completely inherited (which it is clearly
>not)  and innate;

rlh replies:

I am not confusing anything.  If your increase in "intelligence is not
heritable, then that "increase" is merely a manifestation of something
already there.  We are supposedly discussing the evolution of intelligence
in various species.   If natural selection is acting on intelligence, by
definition that critical component must be heritable.  I would be willing
to agree that social change and technology shapes manifestations of
intelligence but how could that be quantified as an increase in

There is simply no credible evidence EITHER way and I feel the conservative
interpertation that no change has occurred is more likely to be tested than
the more generous interperation for reasons outlined.  There is no evidence
that humans are more intelligent today.   Ditto dolphin intelligence.


Richard Hall
Comparative Animal Physiologist
Division of Sciences and Mathematics
University of the Virgin Islands
St. Thomas, USVI  00802

rhall at uvi.edu

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