Re: intelligence

Boris Katz (bkatz@DH.COM)
Sun, 5 Feb 1995 11:47:13 EST

Boris Katz is here. On Feb. 3 Rob Quinlan wrote:

Intelligence seems to go along with increasing social complexity.
Therefore, I suggest that intelligence evolved in this context for
the purpose of manipulating social relationships.

I'd like to draw your attention that this was first suggested by Nicholas
Humphrey in in his classical paper "The social function of intellect" (In:
P.P.G. Bateson and R.A. Hinde (eds) "Growing points in ethology", Cambridge U.
Press, 1976). Recently, Matt Ridley very lucidly presented Humphrey's ideas
in "The Red Queen: Sex and the evolution of human nature" (Macmillan, 1993),
where he, for example, said:

We use our intellects not to solve practical problems but to outwit
each other. Deceiving people, detecting deceit, understanding people's
motives, manipulating people -- these are what the intellect is for.