Archive for May 28th, 2016

Quote note (#253)

The cephalization great divergence:

One mystery of human evolution is why our cognition differs qualitatively from our closest evolutionary relatives. Here we show how natural selection for large brains may lead to premature newborns, which themselves require more intelligence to raise, and thus may select for even larger brains. As we show, these dynamics can be self-reinforcing and lead to runaway selection for extremely high intelligence and helpless newborns. We test a prediction of this account: the helplessness of a primate’s newborns should strongly predict their intelligence. We show that this is so and relate our account to theories of human uniqueness and the question of why human-level intelligence took so long to evolve in the history of life. (XS emphasis.)

Any model outputting the result emphasized has to be worth taking seriously. Abstracting it to a degree that permits emulation is more of a problem, but it’s also the only thing worth aiming for.

May 28, 2016admin 37 Comments »