[ExI] comments?

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Wed Aug 12 12:55:54 UTC 2020

On Tue, Aug 11, 2020 at 11:56 PM Rafal Smigrodzki via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

>> I'm sure sexual selection was a factor but it's a factor in all species, however
>> there must be something special about humans because only they have
>> developed the sort of intelligence needed to have a technological
>> civilization, and I think that special thing is bipedalism.
> *> ### Bipedal apes have been walking around for 3.9 million years and
> getting nowhere fast.*

On the contrary during that time a great deal happened, in particular the
size of their brain increased with an enormous speed that has never been
equaled in the entire 3 1/2 billion year history of life on this planet.
Why? Because once you have two limbs that are not needed for locomotion and
can be used to manipulate things in the environment then getting smarter
starts to confer a very strong evolutionary advantage that is worth the
increased energy needed to operate that big brain. That would not be true
for a zebra because it needs all four limbs just to get around, so it just
needs to be smart enough to run away if it sees a lion, any additional
intelligence would just be a waste of energy evolutionarily speaking. So
zebras never got very smart.

* > Then suddenly culture exploded in the past 200 kyr. It wasn't from
> improved legs.*

 And that was just about the time fully modern human beings evolved and started
to show up in the fossil record.

> *It wasn't from improved legs.*

I agree, our hominid ancestors were walking around on two legs just fine
for millions of years before that, and by the standards of their day they
had huge brains and were smart as hell, but by our standards they had
peabrains and were as dumb as a sack full of doorknobs.

John K Clark
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