The mind as an evolutionary innovation was made possible by a functional change of the brain,

Puno, Peru
Puno, Peru

which acquired the ability to communicate within a network, and by a functional change of this network, which facilitated the motivation of the individuals involved and the control of their instincts.

The motivational impulses in the network, which bestow vital energy and without which individuals and social groups are not viable, have been identified as the nucleus of the human mind. The development up to the beginnings of the mind also takes place within the framework of Darwin’s theory of evolution. However, in the end, there is a new stage of existence.

The intellectually gifted human being has emergent characteristics for whose description, beyond biological theory, a separate set of rules is required.


VI.     Summary

Hypothesis 22

The evolution of brain and mind

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

The task at hand was to present the evolution of the mind in accordance with Darwin’s theory of evolution.

Previous attempts at solutions based on the co-evolution of brain and mind have been rejected because the mind assumes the brain has already been completed developed (both factually and temporally). In addition, the emergent qualities of the human mind still cannot play a role on the biological level of brain development.

The proposed solution is based on a succession of the evolution of brain and mind. The development of the brain with the stages of prenatal growth, postnatal growth, and the networked brain can be plausibly explained based on the Darwinian theory of evolution without using the influence of mental or cultural factors as a justification.

The influence of the mind would then be an additional and not necessarily an explanatory cause to be rejected according to the principle of Ockham’s razor.


Hypothesis 21


Rail journey to Machu Picchu, Peru
Rail journey to Machu Picchu, Peru

After the beginnings of the human mind, the development of human culture begins. However, this is no longer our topic.

How the human mind develops, what laws it follows, and what dependence there is on the biological nature of human beings – these are exciting philosophical questions that cannot be discussed here.


The new level of existence of the spiritual requires a different set of rules,

Schoolchildren, Cusco, Peru
Schoolchildren, Cusco, Peru

one which is developed by the humanities and social sciences. The appropriateness of this must be continually re-examined in detail.

(The distinction between levels of existence and the phenomenon of emergence are dealt with in philosophical literature in the context of the theory of strata or stratification theory, of which Nicolai Hartmann is the best-known recent exponent, cf. N. Hartmann, Der Aufbau der realen Welt. Grundriß der allgemeinen Kategorien­lehre, Berlin 1940, 3rd edition 1964.)

In the 3rd hypothesis, I rejected the concept of co-evolution of culture and brain. There is another reason for this rejection: Culture as an emergent characteristic belongs to the level of existence of the spiritual. That is why it could not even be present when the brain, which belongs to the biological stage of existence, developed.

Here I have shown where the boundary between the spheres of the biological and the spiritual runs.


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.


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.


Hypothesis 20


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.


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.


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.

Continue reading “296”



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.

Continue reading “295”


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.