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Just like the physicalists and the vitalists argued about the sovereignty of interpretation of biological phenomena around the year 1900,

Rail journey to Lake Titicaca, Peru
Rail journey to Lake Titicaca, Peru


there is currently a dispute about the emergence of spiritual phenomena. Just like physics was around the year 1900, biology is now more highly regarded as an exact natural science than the social sciences and the humanities, which are often disputed.

Just like physics was around the year 1900, biology is now the leading science. But like the physicalists around the year 1900, biologists of today fail to describe the more complex level of existence because they do not include the emergence associated with the new complexity in their calculations.

The biological theory system is only marginally suitable for the description of mental phenomena.

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The theory of emergence offered the solution.

Puno, Peru
Puno, Peru


In terms of the concept, Ernst Mayr writes:

Systems almost always have the peculiarity that properties of the whole cannot be derived (not even in theory) from even the most complete knowledge of the components, regardless of whether they are considered individually or in other partial combinations.

This emergence of new qualities in an entity is called emergence and is often used in an attempt to explain such difficult phenomena as life, mind and consciousness. In fact, emergence is no less typical of inorganic systems.
(Mayr 2002, p. 52)

Biological organisms are complex systems with new properties that require a new set of rules, namely an independent biological theory. Achim Stephan mentions four distinguishing features of emergent theories in his book on emergence (German: Emergenz, Paderborn, 3rd ed. 2007, pp. 14 – 25):

1. Naturalism: only natural factors play a role in evolution
2. Innovation: something genuinely new is created
3. Systemic properties
4. Hierarchy of the levels of existence: especially the areas of the material, the biological, and the spiritual.

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Hypothesis 20

Emergence

Old Town of Quito, Ecuador
Old Town of Quito, Ecuador


With the network, a new level of existence beyond the biological sphere can be achieved (emergence).

Just as biological facts cannot be adequately described with the theories of physics, mental or cultural facts cannot be adequately described with the body of rules applicable to biology.

Explanation:

At the end of the 19th century there was a conflict in the explanation of biological phenomena between physicalists, who wanted to describe all biological phenomena with the well-respected theories of physics, and the vitalists, who emphasised the inadequacy of physical theories in the description of biological processes and brought into play the idea of a sentient soul of organisms, which contradicted prevailing naturalistic principles.

Neither the physicalists nor the vitalists were able to prevail in the end. The vitalists failed in their non-naturalistic approach. But even the physicalists could not adequately describe biological phenomena. Since biological organisms were very complex systems that produced new characteristics, the extent to which the theories of physics could be applied was limited.

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The English word leadership refers to the ability to motivate and lead others.

Juliaca, Peru
Juliaca, Peru


Leadership is not only expected from a president of the US but rather from all those who hold leading positions in politics, business, and society.

This ability was clearly demonstrated, e.g. by successful ancient military leaders such as Alexander the Great or Julius Caesar, who personally motivated their soldiers and led them into battle.

Contemporary historians were impressed by how military leaders were able to transfer their own determination to win to their soldiers in rousing speeches, how they were able to motivate despondent or anxious soldiers, in order to carry out decisive attacks.

In addition to open motivation, there are other ways in which people rely on the network with their fellow human beings. People need cultural contact with their fellow human beings in order to feel validated as cultural beings with their values, ideas and behaviours.

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Explanation

Street Photography, Cusco, Peru, 1989
Street Photography, Cusco, Peru, 1989


The human mind developed according to the model presented here, based on the small and even tiny steps of Darwin’s theory of evolution. (1) At first, the brain existed, gradually reaching an ever-increasing volume.

(2) The transition to the network was as described a fluid one; it took many generations until the network was fully developed. (3) The network dependency of individuals did not develop overnight but rather in small steps. (4) The motivational impulse with which individuals motivate each other originated from unconscious beginnings and developed gradually.

From the very beginning, the human spirit served to control instincts through motivation i.e. by encouragement or placation; it did not develop from the transmission of neutral information.

To illustrate the concept of the spirit, it is worth examining religious traditions, since religion has older roots than philosophy. At the beginning of the Old Testament in 1 Moses 2 tells how the Jewish god Yahweh created man (Adam) out of clay. But it is only when God breathes spirit into him that man begins to live; he has ideas for shaping his life.

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V.      The beginnings of the mind

Hypothesis 19

The human mind

Shoeshine boys, Plaza de la Independencia, Quito, Ecuador, 1989
Shoeshine boys, Plaza de la Independencia, Quito, Ecuador, 1989


The individuals of the social group from hypothesis 18 are network-capable insofar as they can communicate and cooperate within a network.

After several generations, the descendants of the network-capable social group are also network-needy, inasmuch as they lose their courage to live without the encouragement and help of the group members and, therefore, cannot survive without the network.

The motivational impulse of the network members, which is necessary for the courage to live, is the bedrock of the human spirit. Like our animal relatives, we humans need our instinctive costumes to survive, and as networkers we also need the motivational impulses of the network participants.

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Explanation:

Writer for letters to authorities, Calle Ayacucho, Cusco, Peru, 1989
Writer for letters to authorities, Calle Ayacucho, Cusco, Peru, 1989


Although the brain is a very expensive organ that consumes a considerable amount of energy, there has been a steady increase in brain size during evolution. According to Robin Dunbar, the larger brain of monkeys serves to establish social relationships with a larger number of individuals and to form a larger stable social group.

In the evolution of humankind, brain volume increased further but was limited by the width of the birth canal of women. This natural limit of brain growth was first circumvented by the postnatal growth phase of the child’s brain.

When these opportunities for brain enlargement were exhausted, evolution found a second way to overcome the limitations of the hominid brain. The brain of the individual did not grow any further but did communicate in a new manner with the brains of other group members, so that knowledge and tasks could be shared between the group members.

In this way, a network as we know it from PC networks, was created. With a larger postnatally completed and networkable brain, the biological premise for the evolution of the human mind was established. This is what we will now address.

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Hypothesis 18

Result

Quito, Ecuador, 1989
Quito, Ecuador, 1989


The network connecting the brains of a hominid social group is the second evolutionary solution, intended to overcome the natural boundary of the hominid brain (hypothesis 11).

The network that the current network-capable brains form initially serves only to expand the brain but not yet to expand the human mind.

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Explanation:

Perhaps equally remarkable is the fact that since Homo sapiens reached this stage more than 100,000 years ago, there has been no further significant increase in brain size.

Reed boat, Titicaca Lake, Peru
Reed boat, Titicaca Lake, Peru

It is difficult to understand why natural selection gave primitive humans such a perfect brain that 100,000 years later it would enable the achievements of a Descartes, Darwin or Kant or the invention of the computer, trips to the moon or the literary creations of a Shakespeare or Goethe.
(Mayr 2002, p. 501)

Above, I posed the question as to whether Ernst Mayr is right with the statement of the perfect brain of Homo sapiens. Now here is the answer: Yes and no. He is right, because the human brain has found a miracle cure, so to speak, with its networking capabilities that enable it to access unlimited brain capacity via the network.

But Mayr would not have been right if his contention that the brains of Descartes, Darwin or Kant alone would have done their great work without the help of the human network of clever forerunners, critical contemporaries, interested discussion partners, etc. had been understood in such a way.

The end of hominid brain growth is a paleoanthropologically verifiable fact that is associated with the appearance of modern Homo sapiens.

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Hypothesis 17

The end of brain growth

Uru Island, traders, Lake Titicaca, Peru
Uru Island, traders, Lake Titicaca, Peru


The beginning of the hominid brain network is the observed end of brain growth at the onset of Homo sapiens about 250,000 years ago.

The individual hominid brain does not need to grow because it communicates with other brains and outsources tasks and knowledge to the brains of other individuals: in other words, because it can form a network.

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Merlin Donald speaks a lot about the network and the necessity to overcome the fixation on the individual.

Uru Island, Village Square, Lake Titicaca, Peru
Uru Island, Village Square, Lake Titicaca, Peru


But for him the network is objectively connected to the level of human culture:

With children, the acquisition of symbolic skills progresses from the outside to the inside. Therefore, their evolutionary development must have been in the same direction. Symbolic thinking and language are, by their very nature, phenomena that are founded in networks.

We therefore cannot explain their existence on the basis of the model of the solipsistically encapsulated individual. A paradigm shift is required. It needs to leave behind the prevailing theories of human evolution, according to which language has developed in the closed shell of the brain, that is, from the inside out. (p. 264)

Donald recognised that the scientific view of the individual or a group of individuals is insufficient and that in humans, the relationships between the individual group members are absolutely crucial.

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Explanation:

The fact that people form networks is probably not a very unique idea but rather a more commonplace one.

Reed soil, houses and boats, Lake Titicaca, Peru
Reed soil, houses and boats, Lake Titicaca, Peru


Evolutionary research talks a lot about groups, group activities, and joint actions but little about networks.

The focus is on the individual that we encounter in its archaeological remains and whose linguistic and cultural abilities are discussed within the contexts of being an individual and as part of the social group.

The concept of the network goes beyond the concept of the group, in that it addresses the individual group members in their individuality as well as their different relationships within the group.

Michael Tomasello talks a lot about the group and common activities and the common intentionality of prehistoric peoples. However, his argument appears to me to lack differentiation into distinguishable individuals with networks.

When determining the group size and the explanation, Robin Dunbar shows that he considers the number of relationships within the group without thinking about a possible network.

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Hypothesis 16

Brain and network

Uru Island, Lake Titicaca, Peru
Uru Island, Lake Titicaca, Peru


The brain of an individual, previously only responsible for the integrity of its own individual, is given the additional function of enabling contact with the brains of other individuals in intentional communication, thereby circumventing its own limitations.

This results in an evolutionary change of function and an evolutionary innovation. The brains of individuals in the social group form a network, just as PCs make up a network.

And just as a network consisting of many PCs can solve tasks that would overburden the individual PC, a network of many human brains can solve larger tasks than a single brain.

The network is created to circumvent the natural limits of brain growth (hypothesis 11) a second time. It is created before the beginning of mind and culture and is also arranged in front of them as their prerequisite.

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Blaffer Hrdy estimates that cooperative upbringing began

Rail journey to Lake Titicaca, Peru
Rail journey to Lake Titicaca, Peru


at the beginning of the Pleistocene epoch (about 1.8 million years ago) when the African Homo erectus appeared. The author drew this conclusion from the relatively small difference in size between the sexes compared to the much older Australopithecines.

The male Homo erectus were

only 18 percent larger than the females. This degree of sexual dimorphism is only slightly more pronounced than in modern humans. (p. 384)

The plausible interpretation of Blaffer Hrdy would mean that the hominids were looking after their young together long before Homo sapiens. Therefore, the use of human communication by the helpers and thus the whole group of Homo sapiens is very plausible.

Carel van Schaik and Karin Isler also emphasise the importance of the helpers in caring for the young:

In most mammal species, the mother is on her own during the strenuous gestation and nursing periods, so any help will save the mother energy.

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Explanation:

Rail journey to Lake Titicaca, Peru
Rail journey to Lake Titicaca, Peru

No mammal on Earth has produced young that take longer to mature or depend on the support of so many others than Pleistocene humans.

With the help of alloparents and parents, these offspring – incredibly costly and equipped with large brains – slowly grew up and enough survived to produce a population capable of penetrating into new habitats, raising children there, spreading further, and eventually populating the entire planet.

Nourished not only by their mothers but also by other members of the group, even descendants who were weaned long before they could care for themselves could slowly grow up without suffering hunger.
(German: Sarah Blaffer Hrdy 2010: Mütter und andere, Berlin, p. 377)

Because of the longer childhood and adolescence, the raising of the young has become extremely expensive for humans and their forerunners. Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, the originator of the quote, has dealt with the prolonged course of human life and its consequences.

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