brain size -intelligence

herdrich david j (herdrich@UXA.CSO.UIUC.EDU)
Wed, 19 Oct 1994 16:43:46 -0500

I think John Wingards point that a smaller brain can be more intelligent
than a larger one completely destroys Rushton's hypothesis. In this
day and age it is amazing to me that anyone would think differently.
Would anyone, for instance, make the arguement that the bigger the
computer the more "intelligent" or powerful it must be? In fact,
in computer science those who work in Artificial Intelligence are
not franticlly trying to build bigger and bigger computers in the
hopes that they will somehow become intelligent; they are writing
programs that can exhibit intelligent behavior
independently of any question of the absolute power of the
computer they are working on. The same AI program can run on
various machines of varying sizes with no effect on the "intelligent
outcome" of the program. The same argument would apply to the size
of the program. Who, besides bad programmers, would want to argue that absolute size, in terms of the number of lines of code, equals a more intelligent

So, if we are to believe Rushton's numbers, one could actually
make the case (if the other arguments against a racist theory did not
apply(and I believe they do)) that "Blacks" are more intelligent than "whites.

What I think is more interesting is that this line of reasoning might go
a long way in explaining the larger brain size of Neandertals relative
to modern humans. Does anyone on the list know of any work that has
taken that line of attack on this issue?

David J. Herdrich