Technology & Intelligence

Fri, 10 Feb 1995 11:17:11 CST

The folks raising questions such as whether robust australopithecines
needed tools, or whether the precision grip they evidently had may have
been related to seed-gathering rather than to tool use, should at least
be aware that they are throwing out a considerable parsimony: the
precision grip's appearance seems to coincide with other basic hominid
anatomical adaptations: bipedalism and reduced canines. Now, what the
technology hypothesis achieves is tentative explanation of all three of
these adaptations in one fell swoop (so to speak); furthermore, the
subsequent brain expansion falls into place nicely. In light of the
remarkable economy of explanation provided by the technology hypothesis,
its cavalier rejection seems to me imprudent at best, and an injustice
to anthopology as a science at worst. --Bob Graber