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Critically consider evolutionary explanations for human intelligence.

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Critically consider evolutionary explanations for human intelligence Intelligence is a hard word to define. Eysenck defined intelligence as 'the all-round mental abilities or thinking skills either of human or of lower species.' These include problem solving, reasoning, predicting events, memory and language. Another definition of intelligence is 'the ability to adapt, survive and thrive in response to changing environmental demands. Taking both these definitions of intelligence, we can deduce that human intelligence must be a development from the lower species, and the greater the ability to problem solve, reason, predict events, remember and use language the more evolved the intelligence. Evolutionary explanations for intelligence fall into two categories - the ecological explanation and the social explanation. ...read more.


It has been argued that the use of tools in life shows the evolution of human intelligence. Two and a half million years ago, humans used chipped rocks as tools, one million years ago humans developed hand axes, and 200,000 years ago there was a dramatic increase in the amount of tools humans used. This does mirror the view that human intelligence is evolving; yet human intelligence has been evolving from over three million years ago, so this does not explain why such a dramatic increase in tool use took place only a relatively short time ago. Tool use therefore, does not explain the evolution of human intelligence. Hunting is another area of human life that it has been argued shows our evolution. ...read more.


Groups can also evolve strategies for hunting, survival and sexual behaviour that will benefit them. Pack animals, such as wolves, hunt in groups, which means they can hunt larger prey. The downside to this is, however, there are more people to share it with. Herd animals, such as gazelles, stick together in groups, making it harder for predators to attack them. Colony animals, like bees, have a Queen who will mate and pass on the genes from the colony, seeing as the colony all share the same genes. Workers can therefore be sterile and still work for the benefit of the colony, and still their genes will be passed on. The evolution of communication strategies, such as language, enables groups to deal with anti-social animals, form alliances and plan strategies. Therefore language will be selected for. ...read more.

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