Re: Study shows brain can learn without really trying

From: Chris Taylor (
Date: Mon Nov 19 2001 - 12:16:36 GMT

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    From: Chris Taylor <>
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    > <Not only is male dominance absent in early humans, even our hominid
    > ancestors two million years ago were roughly equal in size between genders.
    > Our fundamental mistake has been to assume that apes somehow segue into
    > humans. In reality, we began as a radical departure from primate (or any
    > other) evolution, and only recently, in the last dozen or so millennia, has
    > the atavistic ape-like world of "history" emerged. The popular image of
    > "ape-men," as depicted in Kubrick's 2001, is a projection of the modern
    > world onto our pre-technological past. If our ancestors half a million
    > years ago had been as primitive as we are, they could never have survived
    > and proliferated.>

    I'd say whales were a pretty radical departure from the rest of the
    even-toed ungulates (deer pigs cattle etc.), with lots of intermediates
    of course. It all depends on how steep the side of your fitness peak is
    (steeper -> faster evolution)(paradoxical metaphor - we should have
    stuck to basins rather than all this protestant work ethic inspired

    > Well you see that's the core question. I don't know the answer,
    > initially on this list I was reluctant to acknolwedge the possibility of
    > animal cultures, but now I find some reasonable evidence and arguments for
    > that, which I think bring into question the necessity of self-referential
    > mentality for memes.

    Whales (bit of a theme emerging here) are interesting - hunting for
    either fish or seals (where an option exists) is a culturally inherited
    thing. Then there's all that stuff about different chimp populations.

    Difference with me is I was eager to find animal culture (albeit a
    'primitive' version). I'm terrible for that.

      Chris Taylor ( »people»chris

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