Re: nobody here but us wildlife
Sat, 14 Jun 1997 04:18:54 -0400 (EDT)

In a message dated 6/13/97 11:54:03 PM, you wrote:

>On Tue, 10 Jun 1997 wrote:
>> Actually, dolphins are the smartest, for they have the highest brain to
>> ratio.
>I don't remember the details, but I remember reading on Usenet two or
>three years ago about some dolphin experiments which had convinced even
>John Lilly ('Mr Dolphin' himself) that dolphins were nowhere near human

Here's another interesting tidbit on the brain size business -

Occaisionally people go in for brain scans and there's nothing there. This
caused great consternation on the part of the doctors until they realized
that these people do have brains, it's just that they have them in the
brainstem area. I believe the problem is related to hydoencephelopathy (sp?)
in that excessive fluid pressure pushes the brain into the spinal column
during fetal development. This condition is called microencephelopathy
(sp?). It's very rare.

Anyway, although these people have brains, they are much smaller than normal.
I believe they go down to as small as 10% of normal size. Strangely, they
don't seem to have many mental functioning problem. Generally there's no
indication there's anything wrong until they get a CAT scan for a head injury
or something like that and - whoops, nothing up there but water. They do
have problems with simultaneous attention, and probably other things as well,
but you really wouldn't notice unless you looked carefully.

Anyway, my point is that a lot of human intelligence apparently comes from
language, memes, and participation in culture in general. It's not just that
we have big brains but that we use them well.