Technology and Intelligence -Reply

James Barnes (Barnesj@SMTP.LMS.USACE.ARMY.MIL)
Tue, 7 Feb 1995 10:20:09 -0600

On Feb 6, 1995, 4:57pm Bob Graber writes:
J. Barnes says, in crowning his defense of the social-intelligence
hypothesis, that "frankly, technology has been done to death."... Again,
I confess to finding that a singularly unadmirable reason to reject a
theory consistent with a large and growing body of evidence.
--Bob Graber
Touche. I deserve that. I must admit, shame faced, that my post was
less a defense than a knee-jerk response to the perceived
abrasiveness of your posting.

I'm a little pressed for time (your post although dated yesterday evening
did not reach me until 9:15 am this morning. So much for technology.)
however, while I mull over the full gist of your postings...

Regarding the development of a precision grip: Are you, or others,
suggesting that tool use gave a reproductive advantage to those with a
precision grip? I would suggest that fine manipulation of seeds and
other foods is a more probable explanation. Which raises another
question: How are we defining technology? The use of tools and
innovation thereof, or, the entire artifactual and behavioural suite
associated with physically manipulating the environment? How broadly
are you defining technology?

And, since you are obviously more familiar with the literature than I am,
what is the hypothesis regarding the role of tool-use in the development
of speech and symbolic expression?

Which brings me to my final question: You speak of expansion of the
brain. Which portions of the brain are you referring to? I've already
given my definition of intelligence in another post. What is your
definition? It is entirely possible that we are speaking and referring to
two entirely different phenomena.

Jim Barnes