Re: Technology and Intelligence

Dave Rindos (arkeo4@UNIWA.UWA.EDU.AU)
Fri, 10 Feb 1995 09:01:38 +0800

On Thu, 9 Feb 1995, SS51000 wrote:

> I don't understand D. Rindos's assertion of a lack of correlation
> between brain expansion and tool improvement in hominid evolution. I
> suspect he is reifying the rather arbitrary attempt, by human
> paleontologists, to chop up an evolving continuum into so-called
> "chronospecies."

No, I was not making ANY taxonomic assumptions, at all. I think we can
all agree that (1) brains get bigger over time in the hominid lineage,
and (2) change in technology occurs over time. I was saying (as was also
agreed to by Holloway, who was making the same point as me, albeit less
cryptically), that (1) and (2) do NOT match up very well chronologically.

> That these changes don't correlate perfectly with
> arbitrarily defined "species" seems to me quite unimportant.

Again, setting aside the taxonomic stuff, what IS important is that people
keep speaking (at least SOME people, of course) of technology as a driver
in brain expansion. It would seem that were that to have been true some
sort of corollation WOULD exist. We can attempt to 'save the hypothesis'
by positing any number of scenarios (like the "difference" between
Paleolithics and Neolithics is "unimportant" in terms of such things) but
that doesn't really offer us much help, does it??

admitting to no end of confusion about it all