Evolution of Human Intelligence
Human's, as evolved as we are, are the species most capable of exhibiting intelligence and creativity due to our capacity to learn. It is nothing short of remarkable how we, intelligent beings, came to exist.
- Humans evolved from similar primates millions of years ago, who were better equipped to survive in their environment (more info in the Evolution of Species tutorial)
- This knowledge gained has been passed on (greatly accelerated by advances in the way we communicate)
- As a consequence, offspring of our species have harnessed previously accumulated (and written) knowledge to our advantage.
- Our technological and intellectual powers has allowed us to exist in huge numbers, and take advantage of our environment in remarkable ways - continuing to attempt to make best use of what we know or could possibly know.
In light of this snowball effect, and as a continuation of the last bulleted point; we have been able to sustain a rising human population over time. In turn, in accordance with natural selection, more intelligent people may be favoured by our gene pool over the long term, thus making the species as a whole more intelligent as a collective.
Ability to Learn
Humans continually learn from one another and share their information over generations. This is what makes our species a cut above the rest. Our ability to understand the value of learning and to do so gives us the tool to understand more and more about ourselves and our environment.
Intelligence offers us the means to utilise abstract ideas and implement reasoning in our arguments to justify the things we do. The degree of intelligence in people is variable to a number of factors, like genetics, the local environment and even diet.
It is important to note the following
- Knowledge is the accumulation and retention of information
- Intelligence is the ability to analyse this information to the persons advantages, i.e. answering correctly in the exam by making best use of the information you know.
It does not take an intelligent person to be creative. It is a popular belief that technically minded people tend to be less creative as others, who, in turn, are not very technically minded.
It is believed that creativity is made possible in the right brain hemisphere while the technical information is processed in the left hemisphere. It is worth noting that many of the famous creative individuals, all the famous writers, artists etc were generally intelligent.
Creativity can rely on a number of factors, some of which are named below
- Motivation - If the person has no desire to utilise their creativeness, they will not be creative.
- Personality - Peoples' unique inclinations and differences in decision making makes our choice of creativity unique and thus the decisions made in creating something will be different with each person.
- Parental Guidance - Parents provide the crucial link for learning between birth and maturity, therefore their learning, and partly their creativity and intelligence will rub off on those they learn, as will the people that you communicate with.
Moreover to the last factor, it is worth considering that any factor in the external environment will be a factor in your creativity. If someone offered you a million euros to write a good poem, you may instantaneously feel more creative!
Moving one step on from the conscious learning mind, we look at the unconscious mind on the next page; via sleep and dreams.