How Does the World Work?

  • See the About page for a description of the subjects of interest covered in this blog.

Series Indexes

Global Issues Blogroll

Blog powered by Typepad

Comment Policy

  • Comments
    Comments are open and welcome as long as they are not offensive or hateful. Also this site is commercial free so any comments that are offensive or promotional will be removed. Good questions are always welcome!

« The Future of Capitalism - Profits and Growth | Main | What do we mean by leadership in an academic institution? »

April 14, 2010


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Robin Datta

Human cognition is a significant emergent epiphenomenon that rests on a hierarchy of multiple levels of epiphenomena for which we have constructed coherent presumptive explanations. Matters beyond our ken cannot and do not have to be so accommodated. We have no basis to posit or reject further levels beyond human cognition.

Perhaps however, understanding human cognition may require operating from such levels.


just an idle thought; recently a connection was made between crisis environments and more-rapid mutations leading to helpful genetic solutions. is it possible a human bottleneck pressure event (such as the toba volcano approx 70k years ago) may have precipitated/supported the presence of a higher order of consciousness related to more cooperative reliance required? and, if so, then would the possibility exist that dynamic pressure would refocus improvements?
wanders off...


Interesting thing: Homo Floresiensis (not related to me) seems to have a BA10 similar to ours in relative size, yet the brain looks more like Homo Erectus. (Falk et al. 2005 )
So, perhaps BA10 is older than 200ky? Or not unique to Homo Sapiens?

Anyhow, I no longer disregard your theory/plan a science fiction... Looks you got a plan! But, do we have enough time (10y for the genetics + 20y for the first breeding results)? And would it make a difference (with 8 billion old brains around ca. 2040)?

George Mobus


By "levels beyond human cognition" do you mean social organization, as in the latter emerging from the former?


Excellent conjecture. If there is anything progressive about evolution it is that it tends toward greater information handling capacity (bigger brains), but that just leads to greater diversity of behaviors. And that, in turn generates more information (news of difference). Ergo, major information generation sources, e.g. major climate changes, open up the opportunity for better information processors to evolve.


BA10 is not unique to H. spaiens. Sorry if I left that impression. Rather it can be traced quite far back in the phylogeny of hominidae and perhaps further. I believe there is an equivalent (cytoarchitectonically) in rodents and dogs.

But it took a major leap in relative size with H. sapiens sometime within the last 200k years and might have just preceded the advent of complex language (some speculations on language in erectus, but nothing that seems conclusive).


Robin Datta

The "further levels beyond human cognition" refers to the possibility of dimensions beyond those which we cognize; if there are such dimensions, we exist in them even if we do not cogsize them.


hello Robin
good to know about human cognition

The comments to this entry are closed.