Posted: Nov 24, 2010 11:56 am
by trubble76
jez9999 wrote:
trubble76 wrote:
jez9999 wrote:But if our success is short-lived, it will surely be because we destroy ourselves through war or destroying the climate. It won't be for 'baser' evolutionary reasons that we've been out-competed by other species. The fact that only one thing like the human brain has ever evolved is why I'm drawing attention to it as a massive evolutionary anomaly, without precedent, that's hard to explain scientifically.

Evolution doesn't care (for want of a better word) whether we become "unfit" through competition or through self-inflicted reasons, there is no difference.
I agree that the human brain is an anomaly and without precedent, but I don't think it necessarily follows that it's scientifically difficult to explain, no more than other bits of our body. Perhaps you could specify which aspects of human brain evolution that you consider to be the most problematic and maybe we could take a look?

Our development of incredibly advanced speech, ability for abstract reasoning, future planning based on knowledge of past events, and a very advanced development of art and culture. All of these seem like big advantages to humans now, but it's hard to see them developing in a slow, incremental, evolutionary way.

All good points, and perhaps there are people here that can give proper answers, I'll have a pop though.
Surely those things you've mentioned are some of the things we actually have solid and unambiguous evidence showing their slow development. We see art from squiggles on a cave wall through to 3-D holographic art. We see ancient languages and their development into modern standards.
All these examples are very new parts of life on Earth, they seem to have been remarkably successful in the short term (in geological terms), but it remains to be seen whether or not they are successful in the long run.