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Blenderx06 t1_j53c0ez wrote

What specifically makes you think they were maybe the smartest? Curious.


RedditIsPropaganda2 t1_j53fvon wrote

They had big brains relative to their size, but that doesn't really mean they were smarter


DConstructed t1_j53lfxj wrote

I read a hypothesis that said since they didn’t have a way of recording things they had to have excellent memories.

If you are a hunter, gatherer you have to be able to remember successful hunting grounds of the past and how to return to them. Some could be quite far away.

Could be true. Who knows.


ComfortablyAbnormal t1_j53sub1 wrote

I mean, for most of history, the vast majority of people were illiterate and worked on memory as well.


DConstructed t1_j53t7yp wrote

True. And once they had spoken language passed down lore.

I believe the implication in the article was that they more or less needed maps in their heads. I don’t know how that compares to other forms of memory.


GrandBed t1_j544soy wrote

They could have also had maps galore written on animal skins, papyrus or a hundred other types of parchment. It’s just not anything that would have survived today.

That’s why we should all build large megalithic structures, so in 100,000 years we aren’t viewed as being as dumb as we might be.


DoctorSalt t1_j54hn39 wrote

"wow, they needed all the megalithic structures for something we just use our brains for. They must've been dumb"


notblackblackguy t1_j55bnh7 wrote

Saw a study recently that showed London cab drivers have enlarged hippocampus due to memorising the streets of London


Torodaddy t1_j56av3m wrote

aren't you born with whatever sized brain you have?


notblackblackguy t1_j56g9hu wrote


Torodaddy t1_j576ca1 wrote

the study is biased, they should of used for control brains of taxi drivers that were just starting out versus veteran drivers. All the study is saying is taxi drivers have larger hippocampus you can't use this to say it grew. It's like saying basketball players grew tall because they play basketball


DConstructed t1_j56fbbn wrote

That’s really interesting. Do you have a link?


Lil_Cato t1_j53vuvv wrote

I can remember how to drive to at least 100 different restaurants without a map


NeObi-WanKenoLetItBe t1_j53yvj6 wrote

Oh yeah? I can walk into another room 10 feet away and not know why the hell I went there.


Onedaynobully t1_j54gibl wrote

Well, I can think of something I'd like to do on my phone, open the app for that and then forget what I was doing


bmalek t1_j54j8v2 wrote

ADHD crowd represent!


Volunteer-Magic t1_j566spo wrote

The what crowd? Sorry, I was thinking of a tv show I haven’t seen in 5 years


JBredditaccount t1_j54lzuq wrote

At least you make it to the room. I walk halfway to somewhere and then forget where I was planning to stand around wondering why I was there.


automatvapen t1_j54c3o7 wrote

There was a study on London cab drivers and their ability to remember every street and addresses in their daily work. Their brain masses had increased and where bigger than your average joe. Can't remember the name of the study, but it does show that brain matter increases when you need to remember a lot of stuff.


newtoon t1_j54j12u wrote

implying that my brain is shrinking that all I remember today is how to type my question / location in Google.


CptHammer_ t1_j54x8co wrote

>they didn’t have a way of recording things

They did though. Not only the same method as any other animals, but they also had at least pictographic writing and tally marking.

A recent discovery shows what we're considered random tally marking of cave art, was probably moon cycles counting from the animals natural reproductive cycle, next to pictures of those animals. Possibly an indication of when and where to hunt for them, aka the good months and near these drawings.

The tally marks line up with animals that still exist. This gives us a lot of insight into the extinct animals pictured.

Keep in mind, if this information is useful to us today, how much more useful it was then. This is also the minimum amount of recording and communication, there likely was more.


GrandBed t1_j544ikp wrote

We would have to define smarter.

People 5,000 years ago were identical to people today, yet “we” still a few thousand years until people were writing of burning bushes that could talk.

“We” don’t need our brain’s abilities as much as we did 100,000-10,000 years ago when civilizations were being built such as Göbekli Tepe.

Since we don’t need to know/remember as much information as a person ten thousand years ago for survival. We don’t need to be “smart” to order food to our homes via our phones. Modern society in most cases just doesn’t let us die for something stupid, like starvation, or curable diseases. So we could have plenty of smarter people in the past, certainly within our “Modern Human” group of the past 30,000+ years.

It’s interesting to imagine that a recent ancestor such as the ones responsible for this article, who had larger Brian’s, could have been smarter, just not connected with enough other smart people to leave any significant remnants that survived to recent history to be studied.


InGenAche t1_j54fe8o wrote

I would argue that modern man has to remember far more than our ancient ancestors.

Consider our education; even disadvantaged nations have compulsory education until 12 or 16 where even the most basic of subjects would seem incredibly complex to prehistoric man, maths, reading and writing.

And even if the vast majority of what we know is comparatively mundane compared to the tools for survival they required, it doesn't detract from the fact of its complexity.

I'm no expert, but even their art was only as complex as our grade schoolers which to me is indicative of an ability to form and communicate abstract ideas.


6XJPCmTMB7gm3rMhUKE5 t1_j54mpk3 wrote

> People 5,000 years ago were identical to people today, yet “we” still a few thousand years until people were writing of burning bushes that could talk.

That very myth is probably more than 4000 years old.


RedditIsPropaganda2 t1_j54xwdy wrote

I kind of think you're just describing how modern humans lived for the majority of their existence


bittoxic00 t1_j53lehp wrote

Of the over 100 billion humans who’ve walked the earth plus our close relatives I just think it’s hard to imagine our recent history has the best and the brightest, statistically


Blenderx06 t1_j53n8fs wrote

It's really fascinating to look at these intelligent relatives who are long gone with hardly a trace they ever existed. Puts modern humanity in perspective. We are just as expendable in the scheme of things.


OldManChino t1_j54gy60 wrote

Edit* I'm an idiot who believed a factoid, no need to school me anymore, my lesson has been fully learned

There's more people alive now than has died previously. I'm no statistician, but those numbers alone surely mean the smartest has to be now no? Can someone smarter than me chime in on this?


bittoxic00 t1_j55id0e wrote

I think they’ve theorized over 100 billion modern humans have existed on earth, so 8%ish of all humans ever are alive today, 92% have passed. So 9/10 chance the human with the greatest capacity for intelligence and or strength never lived in modern times. The best bodybuilder with modern training and medicine has likely existed but the person with the most potential has likely passed. I think the same with intelligence, there might have been someone in Ancient Greece with the most potential


Nestor4000 t1_j55avb9 wrote

“There's more people alive now than has died previously. I'm no statistician“

You don’t say?