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Evolution of Intelligence :

Intelligence is a term that is difficult to define, and it can mean many different things to different people. In fact, it has divided the scientific community for decades and controversies still rage over its exact definition and form of measurement.
In the popular sense, intelligence is often defined as the general mental ability to learn and apply knowledge to manipulate your environment, as well as the ability to reason and have abstract thought. Other definitions of intelligence include adaptability to a new environment or to changes in the current environment, the ability to evaluate and judge, the ability to comprehend complex ideas, the capacity for original and productive thought, the ability to learn quickly and learn from experience and even the ability to comprehend relationships.
A superior ability to interact with the environment and overcome its challenges is often seen as a sign of intelligence. In this case, the environment does not just refer to the physical landscape (eg. mountains, forests) or the surroundings (eg. school, home, workplace) but also to a person’s social contacts, such as colleagues, friends and family – or even complete strangers.

 

What Is Intelligence? Simply Put...
Intelligence is:

  • Rational thought and reasoning
  • The ability to act purposefully in an environment.
  • The ability to deal with situations, in an effective manner, within an environment.
  • Cognitive – Examples of cognitive ability: memory, perception, concept formation, problem solving, mental imagery, action, association, language and attention.
  • The ability to learn from experience
  • The ability to live and cope with the demands of daily life.

The evolution of human intelligence refers to a set of theories that attempt to explain how human intelligence has evolved. The question is closely tied to the evolution of the human brain, and to the emergence of human language.
The timeline of human evolution spans some 7 million years, from the separation of the Pan genus until the emergence of behavioral modernity by 50,000 years ago. Of this timeline, the first 3 million years concern Sahelanthropus, the following 2 million concern Australopithecus, while the final 2 million span the history of actual human species (the Paleolithic).
Many traits of human intelligence, such as empathy, theory of mind, mourning, ritual, and the use of symbols and tools, are already apparent in great apes although in lesser sophistication than in humans.
Animals differ in intelligence, and humans are usually considered to be by far the most intelligent. However, it is unclear which brain properties might explain these differences.

References:
www.aboutintelligence.co.uk
www.hubpages.com
www.wikipedia.org

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