Wisdom as a Mental Tool of the Symbolic Species

Wisdom as a Mental Tool of the Symbolic Species

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-168-3.ch004
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The Evolution Of Mankind

The human race evolved from primates living in Africa sixty million years ago. Approximately twenty million years ago, the first terrestrial apes evolved in Africa. Perhaps six to eight million years ago, this group split into two: the modern apes and the hominids. The first hominids are called Australopithecines, or southern apes. Humans and apes evolved directly from this same branch of the super-family Hominoidea, and subsequently, humans evolved into the family Hominidae and sub-family Hominae. While great apes are identified from several East African sites dating 17 to 20 million years ago, Hominid fossils appear 2.5 to 4.5 million years ago. However, their origin is estimated between six and ten million years ago. The Great Apes’ evolution ends with the chimpanzees, which are the final “stop” on the evolutionary path, and which gave way to Homo sapiens (200,000-60,000). (Figure 1 (Burenhult, 2003).

Figure 1.

The evolution of humans

Further development of humankind was triggered by the relationships among communication, information processing skills (later called info-communication or INFOCO System), society, brain, and consciousness. Table 1 illustrates this evolution.

Table 1.
The evolution of the INFOCO system
INFOCO
Component
Sense
Organ
HumankindBrain
Size
Structure of ConsciousnessParadigm
Stimuli-ResponseNoseHominid
10 M–6 M
500 ccArchaicInstinct
Communication
SoundEarAustralopithecine
6 M.-2.5 M
500 ccArchaicSound
Communication
Variety of
Sounds
EarHomo habilis
2.5 M-1.8 M
750 ccArchaicHand
Communication
Intelligence (Fire)BrainHomo erectus
1.8 M-200K
800 cc-
1100 cc
Archaic
Spaceless
Timeless
Survival
Communication
WisdomBrainHomo Sapiens
200K-60K
1350 cc-
1750 cc
Magical 1D
Timeless
Migration
Communication
LanguageMouthHomo Simbolis
60K-4K B.C.
1350 ccMythical 2D
Natural Tempos
Symbol
Communication
INFOCO-1
Civilized
Language
MouthHomo Tributus
4K B.C.-1452 A.D.
1350 ccMythical 2D
Organized Tempos
Social
Communication
Writing
INFOCO-2
Print, RecordsEyeHomo Librus
1452-2000
1350 ccMental 3D
Spatial
Abstract Time
Information
Communication
INFOCO-3
Computer
Networks
CyberspaceHomo
Electronicus
1350 cc-
1500 cc
Integral 4D
Space Free
Time Free
Networked
Communication
INFOCO-4
INFOCO-5

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