Big brain evolution: improving sharp flint tools (Evolution)

by dhw, Sunday, March 11, 2018, 13:09 (283 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: A survey of flint artifacts for cutting and scraping shows continuous improvement in sharpness as time passed:
https://cosmosmagazine.com/archaeology/stone-tools-improved-over-millennia

QUOTE:“"This suggests that the application of improved flaking skills, once they were acquired, was not universal,” they note."

DAVID’s comment: this is not so much brain size or complexity, as it is one person teaching another, and personal dexterity. Note H. sapiens was no better than earlier forms. Look at the illustration to appreciate the differences. Eleven, an arrow head looks just like the ones I've seen and found in our West.

Some H. sapiens were no better than earlier forms – but some were. This reinforces my point that innovations spring from individuals. However, I think the main thrust of the article lies in your first statement: once we have an innovation, subsequent generations and species of hominin improve it. The big question, of course, is how it all started, and whether brain size CAUSED the ability to innovate or was the RESULT of innovation. Round we go!


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