Re: is our brain part of evolution?

Hollenberg/Steeck (
14 Oct 1996 03:48:46 GMT

Peter Stephen Thomas III <> wrote in article
> ITAY ( wrote:
> : Our brain as it is today could not (at least that iswhat i think)
> : could not become as comlex as it is just of evolution, why?
> : if we watch the western culther, but mostly african or indian, we
> : can well see that the brain was used in last 10000-2000 years only
> : for simple tasks, i mean not by all people but by most of them,
> : so how come that the evuolution made a brain as big as that to become
> : so big, if only 10%-30% were used ?
> : so either our brain is a freak of nature, or a made by god? or maby we
> : werent part of the evolution and have been put here by other?

Don't forget that the hominid brain has developed as it has in the
environment of increasingly
complex social interaction -> culture. Thriving, and leave viable
offspring (genetic "capsules")
under the press of complex social environments, requires equally complex
social SKILLS that
enable subsequent generations to aptly persist. We compete as individuals
for the best mates,
compete as social groups for the best (most productive) lands, and compete
as cultures for the
most apt cultures (enhancing the social group espouising these "world
viewpoints, etc.").

Thus, its an almost text-book Darwinian predator-prey coevolution model:
one group gets relatively
more apt compared to a second group with which it interacts and gradually
usurps that second
group's "territory". That second group either evolves (its dwindling
numbers), develops a
more apt culture (i.e., social interaction method, mores, technology,
etc.), or disappears.

The brain has evolved along with every other "part" of the organism, as has
the eye. The hy-
pothesis of, or requirement for, a god is a non-issue at best. BTW, the
notion of "using " a brain
10% or 59% capacity has ZERO relevance to the issues involved: there's no
such thing as using
only a given part because, for example, (1) the brain's physiology is
plastic and it adaptively adjusts
"unused" portions to provide capacity for more heavily used portions, and
(2) information processing
is by nature a _distributed processing phenomenon_ in which the "problem
solving" of living occurs
more or less globally.