Re: Brain development.

Fri, 3 Feb 1995 09:37:00 PST

Nicholas writes:

"I want to consider *why* the intelligence has come about. "

The Center for the Origin and Study of Life (William Schopf, organizer/chair)
here at UCLA has a 2-day symposium each year. For the year 1996, the theme
will have to do with the origins of intelligence in the hominids. So
Nicholas's question is quite timely.

D. Read

PS There probably are as many scenarios underlying the reasons for the brain
increase in the hominids as there are persons to make such arguments. Let me
briefly toss out another perspective. There is a tendency to see
"intelligence" as unique to hominids (certainly our large brain and its
consequences is unique), hence to look at intelligence as a major factor in
this divergence. A colleague has of mine has (privately) suggested that
moving in the direction of a larger brain may be more due to removal of a
constraint (e.g., size of birth canal) than a selection FOR larger brains per
se. Whether this argument is valid or not, it points out that we should
realize that later consequences of having a trait need not be synomymous
with why the trait is "introduced" in the first place.