Tool-Making: An Argumentative Analysis

1026 Words 4 Pages
Following the establishment of cultures with more complex foraging strategies, elements of culture such as tool-making could begin acting more strongly as a positive selective force in human evolution, channeling and refining their cognitive ability. However, it is fallacious to think that there was a single event at which social or cultural forces became important to the trajectory of human brain evolution. Elements of culture, whether tool-making or systems of communication, more likely came to be increasingly strong feedback loops for greater cognitive development as they accumulated over the past hundred thousand years of human evolution. The trajectory of developing larger, more capable brains, however, would be decisively locked in with …show more content…
Some argue that the ability to use language was an important selective pressure on the development of larger brains and cognitive ability8. However, language use is unlikely to have been a significant selective force without other benefits of cooperative behavior already in place. The ability coordinate resource gathering strategies and to share information would not be useful, and likely would never have developed, if the language capable species had not already had significant cooperative tendencies. Such cooperative tendencies would also allow for the more complicated and comprehensive foraging strategies than otherwise, as different tasks of the strategy could be divided among the different involved members. Prosocial tendencies, therefore, do not simply provide a buffer for the transitioning more energy to large brains, but they also provide a cooperative context in which advanced cognition could successfully plan out complicated, high-reward foraging strategies. As with seasonality and climactic changes, prosociality does not directly select for increasing cognition. Rather, it is a necessary prerequisite for the evolution of advanced

Related Documents