Monday, April 26, 2010

Prehistoric Geniuses

"It is somewhat disquieting to speculate on the fact that even 50,000 years ago, in the early Stone Age, the human family contained individuals with innate capacities for reasoning and self-expression approaching those of a Shakespeare, a Beethoven or an Einstein." -- Frederick Seitz, physicist, President of the National Academy of Sciences, The Scientist, 1962


Fungus FitzJuggler III said...

More BS. While I do think we greatly underestimate the abilities of our ancestors, the point he misses is that any genius, and Einstein was cunning, but no genius, is a product of their culture and upbringing as much as their genetic material.
One way, by far the easiest to discern that there is genius present, is that a genius will create more wealth of some kind. Not merely invention, but artistic or spiritual achievement. While I disagree with the enslavement of billions, even voluntarily, it does free up millions of us or others, to attempt to become geniuses or just to enjoy our selves.

There is no evidence of such societal achievement or organization. Flashes of genius are always possible. But mostly they are wasted, because there are no mechanisms upon whixch to build a culture.

Pleroma said...

Hence, the use of the word "innate".