Hypothesis 3

No co-evolution of mind and brain

Parade, Cusco, Peru, 27. 8. 1989
Parade, Cusco, Peru, 27. 8. 1989

Previous explanations of the origin of the human mind and human culture all assume a co-evolution of mind and brain, whereby mind and brain have influenced the evolution of each other (examples for co-evolution: insects and flowers, lions and gazelles).

These statements contradict the prohibition of targeted evolution (Hypothesis 2) and should therefore be rejected. The human mind is an evolutionary innovation and therefore cannot have arisen via co-evolution.


Johannes Steidle defines the concept of co-evolution in his contribution to the non-fiction book Evolution as follows:

Co-evolution occurs when two or more species influence each other’s evolution. This happens because each species exerts selection pressure on other species and changes itself in response to the selection pressure of other species. The consequence of co-evolution is the co-adaptation of the species involved. (Johannes Steidle 2009: Coevolution, in: Schmid, Ulrich und Günter Bechly (ed.): Evolution. Der Fluss des Lebens, Stuttgart, p. 81-88, p. 81)

Ernst Mayr explains co-evolution as follows:

Whenever two types of living beings interact – such as predators and prey, hosts and parasites, blossoming plants and pollinating insects – they exert selection pressure on each other. This results in them developing in unison. (…) Many evolutionary processes occur in the form of this type of co-evolution.
(Ernst Mayr 2005: Das ist Evolution, München, 3. ed., p. 257)

The following concepts related to the biological notion of co-evolution are fundamental: at least two species of living beings are viable without the other species; the species interact with each other; they exert selection pressure on each other; and they develop together.

Leave a Reply