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38329Re: [evol-psych] Re: Africa, Race & I.Q... [race & social functioning?]

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  • Mark Flinn
    Oct 3, 2005
      I think if we are looking at selective pressures that are salient to
      understanding the evolution of human cognitive processes then life history
      effects of pathogens and social competition are the two areas that are
      likely to have been much more important than heat stress or anything else
      about climatic conditions per se.

      I think it useful to get our heads out of the narrow confines of our
      impressions of recent human conditions and examine the broader picture in
      comparative perspective. There is no pattern analogous, e.g., to geographic
      parthenogenesis, in the distribution of brain size in animals. Whatever
      taxa you want to look at, there are no general associations btw cold
      climates and large brains. To the contrary, what associations there are
      indicate links between benign environments fostering greater social
      competition and larger brains. High pathogen loads (and high early
      morbidity) can push faster senescence.

      Mark Flinn
      Departments of Anthropology
      and Psychological Sciences
      University of Missouri
      Columbia, MO 65211
      (573) 882-9404
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