[ExI] Now we've got 'survival of the weakest'!

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Thu Aug 26 08:14:49 UTC 2010

A new book
The Artificial Ape: How Technology Changed the Course of Human
Evolution by Timothy Taylor.

Archaeologist and anthropologist Timothy Taylor explains how a
long-vanished artefact explains human evolution and led to "survival
of the weakest"


Technology allows us to accumulate biological deficits: we lost our
sharp fingernails because we had cutting tools, we lost our heavy jaw
musculature thanks to stone tools. These changes reduced our basic
aggression, increased manual dexterity and made males and females more
similar. Biological deficits continue today. For example, modern human
eyesight is on average worse than that of humans 10,000 years ago.

Unlike other animals, we don't adapt to environments - we adapt
environments to us. We just passed a point where more people on the
planet live in cities than not. We are extended through our
technology. We now know that Neanderthals were symbolic thinkers,
probably made art, had exquisite tools and bigger brains. Does that
mean they were smarter?

Evidence shows that over the last 30,000 years there has been an
overall decrease in brain size and the trend seems to be continuing.
That's because we can outsource our intelligence. I don't need to
remember as much as a Neanderthal because I have a computer. I don't
need such a dangerous and expensive-to-maintain biology any more. I
would argue that humans are going to continue to get less biologically

Is he saying humans are degenerating?


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