RSS Feed

Begin 0

Have you seen this picture before?
Can you possibly take a guess who the artist might be?
Okay, which period?

If you ask me, it looks pretty “today”. I mean, this could be a digital-oil paint hybrid. Or maybe a piece created completely in Corel Painter.

Shockingly though, it is a prehistoric cave painting from Gua Twet in Borneo. They are stencils of human hands, made by placing the hand against the wall and then blowing a mixture of red ochre and water around them.

Those guys must have been high!

We almost believe evolution started with the iPad. Or maybe it started with the Beatles and LSD.
But then how do you explain the cave art in Lascaux, or Bhimbetka, or Borneo?

Did we become intelligent when we invented the wheel? Discovered how to make fire? When did it all begin?

What is intelligence?

Carl Sagan said that intelligence is the tendency of an organism to control its environment for the purposes of survival. By that definition, intelligence must have started with the first appearance of life. Even the single-celled amoeba moves away when the environment turns acidic. That’s intelligence at the basic level. It tries to acquire a better environment. (Although I can’t say we show the same level of intelligence in dealing with our environment).

Without intelligence, a species cannot survive. It cannot continue to exist through the hurdles of “Natural Selection” and “Survival of the Fittest”- the two strongest tenets of evolution. If intelligence is about survival, then it is the central facet of evolution. It transformed  us from hunter-gatherers to community dwellers. It gave us our domestic hearth. It gave us our literature, art, mathematics and medicine. All that we do or have done, is guided by the sole purpose of the survival of the species.

At one end of the intelligence spectrum lies the amoeba, at the other, the human brain.

The Gua Twet painting depicts the journey of a Shaman into the spiritual
world. The picture is in the public domain.
Advertisements

About Rajib Aditya

Rajib Aditya is learning. This is an attempt to put some of that learning into words. Nothing here is original. Knowledge exists, and should be free. Free both as in "free beer" and as in "free speech". Spread it without restraint.

4 responses »

  1. True.

    Each and every particle of energy has an in-built cosmic consciousness or cosmic intelligence that wills it to live. It also partners to procreate further, creating an environment which helps itself and its future generations to survive.

    Had it not been for the intelligence of the microcosmic particles to stay alive, we’d have no formation of cellular organisms and this blog wouldn’t be here to tell the tale.

    Reply
    • Yes. Alain Aspect’s “Bell Test Experiments” and several other instances confirm “particular” intelligence and communication. Thanks for commenting, Chheku!

      Reply
  2. I think it all started with the shamans of Mexico discovering the psychedelic delights from the barks of the free growing Mesca cacti, no?

    Also remembering the Altamira cave in Spain. Even Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia seemed nothing compared to it…

    All the best for your new blog, dear!

    Bappa

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: