March 29, 2007

Skulls and their content

Via Randall Parker comes news of a new study that re-evaluates the stages of human evolution, contending--on the basis of skeletal remains--which raises questions as to when modern humans truly evolved. If we can detect physical changes, can we detect cognitive ones as well?

The psychologist Julian Jaynes suggested in an inelegantly titled volume that a more ephemeral part of our anatomy--our conciousness--evolved even more recently, perhaps as little as three milennia ago. One need not credit all of Jaynes' arguments (his theory rests rather heavily on his confidence in his ability to understand how the ancients understood their art) to recognize that, if skull morphology suggests accelerated evolution, then the growing sophistication of our consciousness might indicate something similar.

Posted by Ideofact at March 29, 2007 11:51 PM