From: Dani Eder (email@example.com)
Date: Tue Mar 23 2004 - 10:06:49 MST
> For 4 billion years, DNA was the recording mechanism
> of history, the memory of biology. As soon as we
> developed language, we no longer needed the slower
> form of DNA for memory; by reputable
I believe the progression is more complicated than
that. First was genetic information storage. Then
the genetic was supplemented by the neural. At
first brains were small relative to the genome,
in the sense of bits of storage capacity, but
they could evolve faster. The genome has grown
by a factor of ~30 million over 3.3 billion years,
or doubling each 130 million years or so.
Mammal brains have had a doubling time of around
5 million years after the demise of the dinosaurs,
and the human lineage doubled in the last 2 million
The development of language allowed more efficient
transmission of knowledge from one generation to
another. It also allows knowledge to be divided
into pieces held by different individuals, effectively
increasing the knowledge base beyond the capacity
of a single brain. Writing allows even more
storage outside brains.
What I observe is not so much a single discontinuity
(DNA -> language), as a series of overtakings of
one information method by another with a faster
growth rate (DNA -> neural -> language/specialization
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