[evol-psych] Re: Human brains expanded to increase expertise capacity, not IQ
- On Fri, 1 Oct 1999, Dr. John R. Skoyles wrote:
> The present evol-psych debate upon the evolution of human intelligence(snip)
> ignores what kind of intelligence was selected for in our evolution.
> bigger brains with more neural columns and so capacity to processetc.
> informational chunks will have greater capacities to develop expertise.
> Many activities critical to the survival of early hominids would strongly
> selection for greater expertise: such as skills in tracking prey ...
We have some data that we presented at the last HBES and are
presently preparing for publication consistent with John's view of the
distinction between selection based areas of expertise and general
intelligence. We found, as predicted, that wayfinding in the woods in a
hunting scenario bore a direct relationship to three dimensional mental
rotations ability, which we regard as a relatively hard-wired, discrete
capacity, but no relationship to I.Q., as measured by Raven's Progressive
Matrices, or to non-rotational spatial tests. Our wayfinding measure did
also distinguish between the sexes, but mental rotations ability was the
only significant predictor of wayfinding ability in a multiple regression.
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- On October 6th Robert Levy wrote
>I'm looking for information on theories of the evolution of language whichThis idea goes back a long way. Otto Jespersen proposed it about the
>fall roughly into the domain of "language evolved from song".
beginning of the century in his book on language (sorry I'm away from any
good source of reference) and it sticks in my mind that he had a quote from
Darwin that seemed to hint at it, though I may be wrong about that.
>I am familiar with the problems and questions in the "evolution ofWell, it really doesn't explain very much. Nobody, to the best of my
>language" debate, and I don't see any glaring flaws in this theory. I
>suppose the main problem is historical and empirical. Are there any good
>reasons why this theory or something like it should not be a candidate for
>being the one which reveals the mysteries of the origins of language?
knowledge, has ever tried to explain how you would get from song to discrete
units (words or signs) that carry discrete chunks of inmformation, let alone
how those discrete units would then be assembled to form syntactic
structures. Without such a scenario, there's really nothing to discuss.
>From what I have read, it seems that theories of language evolution >oftenThings aren't quite that bad! I suggest you read Calvin and Bickerton,
>go unnoticed because there are so many equally valid theories, >none that
>surface as being extraordinarily explanatory.
"Lingua ex Machina" (MIT, 1999 we still hope, but you can find it on line
at. www.WilliamCalvin.com/LEM.) We try to get over some of the problems
faced by previous accounts, how successfully if up to others to judge.