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So my suggestion is that because strategic intelligence is always close to the minimum level needed to deal with immediate challenges and survival issues - because otherwise the energy costs outweigh the immediate benefits - the likelihood of any species evolving the cognitive capacity to deal with wide-scale issues is much smaller than it's usually assumed to be.

Selection pressures due to male - female competition in sexually reproducing species can have a negative effect on overall fitness, though. I do like the theory (among many, I know) that our big brains are the result of recursive sexual competition (both in terms of manipulative skill and for "entertaining" members of the opposite sex) along the lines of the peacock's exaggerated tail. The overall benefits of sexual reproduction seem to be positive despite these sort of "excursions," though (strongly suggested by the mere existence of sexual reproduction, I think).

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Wed Oct 10th, 2007 at 01:27:00 PM EST
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