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Dolphin brain

Richard Hall rhall at uvi.edu
Tue Feb 2 08:47:14 EST 1999

At 1:13 PM -0800 2/1/99, Krakatoa wrote:
>> >> >In article <v04011700b2d0b1c2274f@[]>, rhall at uvi.edu
>> >> >Hall) wrote:
>> >> >
>> >> >| Natural selection does not appear to favor humans or dolphins of
>> >> >| intelligence...at least there is no evidence that the mean has
>> >>shifted one
>> >> >| way or the other.  It is only sufficient that animals possess
>> >> >[snip, snip]
>The fact that you are writing this post is ample evidence that
>intelligence has in fact increased; humans of 50-200,000 years ago were
>completely incapable of this behavior or this level of analysis in any
>way; they would score lower on any intelligence test, even one that was
>designed for them. There is no legimate intelligence defintion you could
>use which would not give you that humans today are more intelligent.

Hi Stephan,

You can repeat your point as often as you wish.  However, your criteria for
"intelligence", ie., the ability to write, supposes that such a skill would
have been relevant 50,000-200,000 years ago.  Clearly circumstances have
changed, but just because early Homo sapiens did not write or use a
computer does not mean they lacked intelligence to solve problems.  How
many "civilized" folks could survive in a pretechnological world in the
absence of information accumulated over the past 5,000 years?   In that
setting early Homo sapiens would probably fare better and by your sliding
scale of intelligence would be more intelligent.  The twin studies were
invalidated because of fraud, but even so it is irrelevant because there is
no way to test infants born 200,000 years ago or to raise them in
controlled circumstances.  Ditto dolphins.

Again there is no credible evidence either way on this argument and the
entire issue is frankly silly arm chair speculation.


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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