Evolution as an Allocation
(1) We humans are smart because we have to fit into our evolutionary niche. Intelligence is the characteristic specialty that constitutes the comparative advantage by which our species has made its evolutionary way down the corridor of time. (2) We humans are so dumb because it would actually be evolutionarily counterproductive for us to be substantially smarter than we are.
Why are we humans so smart? How is it that we possess the intellectual talent to create mathematics, medicine, science, engineering, architecture, literature, and other comparably splendid cognitive disciplines? What explains the immense power of our intellectual capacities?
An immediate difficulty looms when this question is posed. "How," an objector urges, "can you possibly set out to explain why we are as intelligent as we are without first addressing the question of just exactly how intelligent we indeed are?" Clearly, if this issue had to be settled at the outset, the inquiry would never get off the ground. The available time and effort would be consumed in preliminary clarifications. But, in fact, this matter of extent only concerns us in a comparative way here. The pertinent analogy is that of considering why we
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Publication information: Book title: A Useful Inheritance: Evolutionary Aspects of the Theory of Knowledge. Contributors: Nicholas Rescher - Author. Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield. Place of publication: Savage, MD. Publication year: 1990. Page number: 105.
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