Crabtree’s hunter-gatherer problem

Pygmies, an extant hunter-gatherer society that has a low average IQ, are used to rebuke Crabtree’s argument about dwindling intelligence.

A recent article by Matt Ridley “Does Survival of the Sexiest Explain Civilization?” has an unexpected impact on discussions going on about Gerald Crabtree’s paper “Our fragile intellect. Part I” and “Part II”. Crabtree claims that human intelligence is declining since the advent of human societies. A claim that is by the way also made by Fauceir Theory only for different reasons. While Crabtree makes the accumulation of damaging mutations responsible, Fauceir Theory considers human enslavement by social fauceirs the main reason. This may include, of course, the accumulation of disadvantageous mutations due to provision of food and shelter to those who were otherwise subject to starvation and succumb to selection, but it also includes active elimination of those who were more intelligent.

The opponents of Crabtree’s ideas argue that present day hunter-gatherers rate very low in their IQ tests which they shouldn’t if Crabtree were right. On the contrary, they claim hunter-gatheres should outsmart all of us. Supporters counter that present day hunter-gatherers cannot be compared to hunter-gatherers 10,000 years ago. Why not? Both purportedly share the same evolutionary environment. But, is this really true? As a matter of fact primeval hunter-gatherer societies are in fact already master fauceirs to the enslaved human individuals and those masters may have differed significantly. Some supporting the evolution of intelligence. Others diminishing it. While the former societies evolved into present day modern societies, the latter remained hunter-gatherer.

Compare this quote from Matt Ridleys article …

Back in the hunter-gatherer Paleolithic, inequality had reproductive consequences. The successful hunter, providing valuable protein for females, got a lot more mating opportunities than the unsuccessful. So it’s possible that men still walk around with a relatively simple equation in their brains, namely that relative success at obtaining assets results in more sexual adventures and more grandchildren.

… with the narrative about Pygmies in Foster’s book quoted thru this webpage.

While the former is a vivid illustration how evolution of intelligence may had came about the latter illustrates how extant hunter-gatherer societies actively suppress the selection of intelligence. Moreover the website states that all existing hunter gatherer societies show a similar system of uniformization.

I think this is strong evidence of societies’ power to control the evolution of intelligence, and it is strong evidence too that societies that allow the accumulation of intelligence among their members are more successful in competition.

So why societies are interested to suppress the evolution of intelligence at all. This is equivalent to the question why societies have a quite limited capability to anticipate the selection exerted by evolution. This is also equivalent to the question why Germans mostly followed Hitler into the catastrophe and allowed to kill those who warned. Well these are the questions that can be answered by Fauceir Theory and it it what this blog is about.


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This work by Paul Netman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Fauceir theory is developed and © by Mato Nagel and available at www.fauceir.org.

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