To start this wonderful topic of pulsing grey matter, I think we should take another look at the social term “Big Brain”. Although this term insinuates that the person it being directed to is being really smart, it actually isn’t the size of our brain that makes the difference, its how well developed and connected it is. After reading The Cost of Thinking segment in the assigned reading (Pages 8-12); I discovered and made the connection that even though our brain is larger than other animals, there were and are few animals that have larger brains then ours, and naturally I thought that some of those animals would be smarter. Then Harari brings up the point, “But if that’s the case, the feline family would also have produced cats that can do calculus, and frogs would have launched their own space program.” Now Harari’s point doesn’t mean that there are 20 ft frogs, but that there are different species,s on the planet that have a larger brain in proportion to their body, and the necessary organs to operate it.
So why is it that Humans are smarter than creatures that have naturally larger brains in proportion? Well for some species I don’t necessarily think that their capacity for intelligence is below ours, but rather its their intuition to knowledge that may be lacking. Many species,s of apes and monkeys have proven to solve complex problems,and understand basic language. Same goes for most other domesticated animals, cats, dogs, even cows recognize faces, words, and even sounds associated with their environment. It would seem that the design of the animal and its natural niches that dictate how their brain operates. And over time they will evolve bu their place in the natural order doesn’t require them to evolve at the same rate humans do. This is especially true with domesticated animals, as they’re symbiotic relationship with humans caused them to actually devolve into smaller and more socially inclined versions of themselves.
Speaking of being social, Harari explains that our species went through that he likes to call a cognitive revolution. The cognitive revolution was a time where humans began to become more socially inclined, which could’ve began our social evolution as a species. Harari believed our social evolution could have been contributed by the fact that our young require more time to be prepared for the world. Unlike other organisms that only protect their young for only a few weeks tops. That on top of our naturally gifted talent to be social animals provides our species the ability to collect our minds and act as one. Harari both uses this as an example and also explains that this new behavior also lead way to the social construct of tribes and families. The wider consequences of these constructs enabled early humans to build on their social talent, allowing them to organize larger hunting groups, and increased their defense against the planet’s dangers. These imagined orders or constructs eventually after thousands of years allowed Humans accomplish feats unprecedented to what the planet has ever seen.
To my peers,
What are your thoughts? How did the reading change your perspective on how you see the world?