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Evolution of the human brain





yagnyavalkya
Lawrence Krauss says that
We evolved as human beings a few million years ago on the Savanna in Africa and we evolved to escape tigers, or lions, or predators. You know, how to throw a rock or a spear or how to find a cave and we didn’t evolve to understand quantum mechanics.
How correct is the statement
I feel that that evolution is a continuous process and brain evolves to understand the threats faced
Please give your opinions
Ankhanu
Yes, evolution is a continual process, and we’re still (slowly) evolving, including our brains.

While Krauss is correct that we didn’t evolve to understand quantum mechanics, the statement is pretty much meaningless (Knowing Krauss’s public stances on things, I have a feeling you may be misinterpreting something he said, or taking it out of context, but, that’s not really that important). No, we didn’t evolve to understand concepts like quantum mechanics, we did evolve powerful spatiotemporal prediction and risk assessment machines that provide the basis from which concepts such as quantum mechanics might be contemplated/imagined/analyzed. Whether contemplating bosons or quickly computing the trajectory of a rock you’re throwing, the basic neurology is the same. Our brains are very powerful, with complex circuitry; that circuitry has been borrowed to develop ideas like quantum mechanics, and hasn’t really changed to get there.

We could get into a discussion of the nature of evolution in adaptation, and concepts of selective pressure and genetic drift, but, I’m not sure that’s really going to be necessary here. Suffice to say, there’s no real selective pressure to push towards developing a brain to handle quantum mechanics versus basic tool use and prediction… the machinery is the same.

A couple analogies: Our hands evolved to grasp natural objects, not to operate a can opener… Computers weren’t originally designed to run games, they were developed to run complex mathematical algorithms for research and engineering…
Existing concepts and structures can be co-opted to new functions with little or no real change to their base structure or function.
Pippo90
Evolution is a continuous process, but in the limited scale of human history (compared to the history of life), its effect is negligible. Besides, the recent, formidable improvements in human living standards considerably contain this process. For further details, I would recommend you to read "Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies" by Jared Diamond, a well-written divulgative essay which, in simple terms, illustrates these concepts (together with other things as well).

Anyway, cultural evolution is what is really developing nowadays. And although we don't usually admit it openly, even at an impressively fast rate if we compare our situation to just 50 years ago.
spinout
It is a fairly complex scene - take Silicon valley for an example. The worlds most intelligent people living together in a world of smart machinery. And guess what, the worlds most frequent place for Authism!


Well, what is in development? What do we adopt to?
rebamarvin
I am very interested in stargazing. I enjoy viewing those space pictures from Nasa Picture of the day and other sites. But the thing is, I have never ever got a chance to view through a telescope. I only know that a telescope is used to view the heavenly bodies and may be your neighbors Razz.

But on a serious note, I want to get a telescope but I know nothing about it. I have googled a lot and found pages and pages listing about telescopes for beginners. But I am still not sure. What should I be looking for in a telescope and its features? (for example in digital camera's we look at the megapixels). The telescope should be as light and as economical as possible. I want to look at Saturn and its rings and possible some detail from the nearby galaxies.

So what do you think I should get and learn my fellow star gazing frihosters?
grhahuja
good idea.
johans
I think it evolves also but this depends more on experience.. I know we have age limit but for sure it will also evolves and create new discoveries as human kind keeps on exploring.
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