The uniqueness of our species – revisited

Evolutionary processes (aka mother nature) are profligate; millions of larvae of barnacles are ending up with the survival of only 1-2 creatures.  It is the same thing with the human sperm, to name only two examples.  It seems that “mother nature” was equally profligate in creating our brain, with gigantic computing power available in it, of  which only a small fraction is being used routinely.  We use it mainly in the business of expressing ourselves as social creatures i.e. trying to figure each other out, to position ourselves, contributing, ranking, dissimulating, deceiving etc., as well as in balancing our temperamental components emanating from two evolutionary pressures, one on the individual; such as selfishness self-serving calculations, aloofness.  The second evolutionary pressure is the social part in us including empathy, altruism, patriotism, tribalism etc. ending up as creatures with amalgamated evolutionary components making up our human nature (Chimera like, according to E.O. Wilson.)

Still we end up with an enormous unused computing power which nevertheless becomes, under certain circumstances, available.   A case in point, the Flynn effect, that is the steady increase of human intelligence over the recent years in the area of  abstract reasoning, as a response to perhaps accommodate the demands of modernity, especially handling electronic devises (Phenotypic flexibility); in addition we accomplish intellectual and other creative fits way beyond our evolutionary limits.  We do that by using the invented scientific method and mathematics as  tools, we  access the mathematical arrangement of nature, thus  coming up with equations whose predictions are counter intuitive and beyond our evolutionary limits of comprehension.  As very aptly a creative scientist stated himself  “nature….. is not only more strange than we can possibly imagine but  stranger than we cannot  imagine.”)  Nevertheless we use such conclusions routinely.  Examples include quanta phenomena, Higgs bosom and the nature of black holes or the predictions of relativity, even though we literally do not comprehend these conclusions.  The individuals who carry such creative fits are recruited from those whose temperament is composed mainly from components emanating from the individual evolutionary pressures, such as aloofness, selfishness, detachment inner oriented-ness, who thus tend to think “the” world rather than feel it as well able to think in alternatives.  These individuals who also are intelligent and talented and have tenacity  are now able to access the rest of their brain, and because of this very lopsided extreme temperamental variant of theirs allows them to do so.  Examples of such formidable available computer accomplishing fits just mentioned include:   Einstein, Steve Jobs and Isaac Newton, to mention a few, and who also appear and behave oddly and in addition are vulnerable to developing major Mental Disorders (Isaac Newton) as a result  of this extreme temperamental variant of theirs.

It may be that what sets us way out apart from other higher mammals or other creatures (Certain birds) after all, is not so much the ability of abstract reasoning and symbolic thinking, or language or the faculties of fore-planning, or dreaming the future or story telling or creating culture and traditions  (all to some degree possibly existing in other fellow creatures such as elephants as well,) but the fit of bypassing our evolutionary limits with the processes just outlined arriving at incomprehensible but utilizable conclusions just mentioned.


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