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Author Topic: Is human intelligence a consequence of walking upright?  (Read 3825 times)

Offline Geezer

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When our ancestors started to walk upright, did this enable the development of the human brain because it allowed us to use tools and improve our manual dexterity? If so, is it fair to say that human intelligence is a consequence of walking upright?


 

Offline Dasyatis

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Is human intelligence a consequence of walking upright?
« Reply #1 on: 28/02/2011 15:36:26 »
That's an interesting hypothesis, and a fair assumption, but you'll have to be more specific with the term "intelligence", because I'd guess that we were no more intelligent than other apes when we began walking upright, or even after we had mastered bipedalism for some time. Homo sapiens came long quite late in the human evolutionary lineage, and that is where we see the beginning of an intelligence that outmatches all other animals. What walking upright gave us is greater proficiency for hunting food (i.e. we became better predators). This simply allowed us to survive and reproduce. We must remember that the developement of tools is not restricted to humans.

Our evolution of complex language is probably at the root of our greater intelligence, but there are many hypotheses out there regarding this subject. There's a great book out there called "The Third Chimpanzee" that discusses these at great length.   
 

Offline Geezer

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Is human intelligence a consequence of walking upright?
« Reply #2 on: 28/02/2011 20:51:39 »
Thanks for the information Dasyatis.

I suppose we could turn the question around and ask if we would still have developed our brains as much if we did not walk upright, but that's probably impossible to answer  :D
 

Offline Dasyatis

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Is human intelligence a consequence of walking upright?
« Reply #3 on: 02/03/2011 14:35:58 »
Quite true  :)

I think it would be pretty funny if we had never become bipedal, and we still walked around on all fours. Imagine how different our world would be  :D
 

Offline Geezer

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Is human intelligence a consequence of walking upright?
« Reply #4 on: 02/03/2011 19:58:53 »
There is a family (in Turkey?) that has several members who prefer to walk on all fours. There was a prog on the TV about them not so long ago.

Here we are. I found a link http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/allfours/
 

Offline grizelda

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Is human intelligence a consequence of walking upright?
« Reply #5 on: 03/03/2011 20:54:36 »
Possibly the idea is that upright individuals are less effective at defense, having a high and unstable center of gravity. This may have encouraged more cooperation, altruism and empathy as a way of exploiting safety in numbers, as well as the need to develop strategies and weapons for protection and hunting.
 

Offline JnA

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Is human intelligence a consequence of walking upright?
« Reply #6 on: 04/03/2011 02:56:13 »
Possibly the idea is that upright individuals are less effective at defense, having a high and unstable center of gravity. This may have encouraged more cooperation, altruism and empathy as a way of exploiting safety in numbers, as well as the need to develop strategies and weapons for protection and hunting.


I think upright gives us an height advantage over many animals. It's not uncommon for animals to 'display dominance' using height and size.  Though we are pretty flimsy, we need all the help we can get when it comes down to it.
 

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Is human intelligence a consequence of walking upright?
« Reply #6 on: 04/03/2011 02:56:13 »

 

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