intelligence ad nauseum

Mr J.M. Ottevanger (J.Ottevanger@LIVERPOOL.AC.UK)
Thu, 9 Feb 1995 15:53:35 +0000

In response to Rob Quinlan's reply:
This is an interesting argument and illustrates how hard it may be to divorce
the tool-use and social negociation factors from one another when discussing
the motor of the evoluiton of "intelligence", (at least, if you take the tool
I agree with your point that "small improvements in subsistence efficiency
can result in significant differential reproduction [only if] energy resources
are converted into social resources". I would only like to expand the mechanisms
to include a group- rather than a sex-centred one. This would not require the
presence of social exchange or the aspects of human sexuality that you mention.
In a cooperative group the pattern of sharing (not exchanging) food might be
based in part on the contribution of the individual to procurement/processing.
Whilst as you point out this may make marginal differences to the intake of
food by the poor performer (or the other group members), such an individual
may become less and less welcome in the group. The poor tool-maker would be
ostracised, or at least lower ranking (a more male problem as regards
reproduction??) Such a scenario would punish both male and female dimwits for
their inadequate tool-making skills through a social mechanism. Thoughts?
Cheers, Jeremy.