Sunday, January 4, 2009

Of Liars and Evolved Brains

Mark T. Market of The Critical Thinker has an interesting post entitled, Lying Is A Sign Of An Evolved Brain. He cites a New York Times article about a study made regarding lying and primates: 
Deceitful behavior has a long and storied history in the evolution of social life, and the more sophisticated the animal, it seems, the more commonplace the con games, the more cunning their contours.

In a comparative survey of primate behavior, Richard Byrne and Nadia Corp of the University of St. Andrews in Scotland found a direct relationship between sneakiness and brain size. The larger the average volume of a primate species’ neocortex — the newest, “highest” region of the brain — the greater the chance that the monkey or ape would pull a stunt like this one described in The New Scientist: a young baboon being chased by an enraged mother intent on punishment suddenly stopped in midpursuit, stood up and began scanning the horizon intently, an act that conveniently distracted the entire baboon troop into preparing for nonexistent intruders.

Much evidence suggests that we humans, with our densely corrugated neocortex, lie to one another chronically and with aplomb.
If this is finding is true, then the Philippines must be the breeding ground of people with the most evolved brains. What better evidence than those at the top of the Philippine food chain - our current administration? 
Photo: palindrome6996, Flickr, Creative Commons

1 comment:

  1. Well there's evolution, and there's a dead-end in evolution. Some species have evolved to the point of extinction.

    On lying, there's I think some measure of comfort in the fact that we have a clue or notion that we are being lied to in this country.

    Some other countries are worse: either people don't know and trust their leaders completely/fanatically, or they know and they willingly allow themselves to be trod on.

    Arguably we in the Philippines are in serious danger of becoming the latter soon.


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