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Re: (TFT) Skills and the poor Neanderthals

Charles A. Gadda:

  The reason I said what I said is that both verbal and written 
  communication involve a considerable amount of abstract 
  and symbolic thinking.

Okay, I can see some validity to this - at least the symbolic, if not the 
abstract, part.

  For example: I type here the word "mountain" - what do you 
  think of? Do you see the aforeprinted squiggles only? Or 
  does the image of an acutal mountain pop in your mind?

I think of the sounds of the word.  An image springs to mind only if I think 
about it for a moment.

But, in fact, perhaps that's the strength of symbolic thinking - that one can 
abstract the ideas to symbols, then manipulate - think about - the symbols 
without having to think about the underlying ideas.  Algebraic analysis is so 
powerful exactly because the symbols can be manipulated without having to 
think of the underlying ideas:  we can solve x=0.5at^2 without having to 
visualize the particular accelerating object we're concerned with.

  Thus, complex innovations become difficult or even impossible.... 
  You can't invent the bow simply because you lack the symbologic 
  and abstract thinking required to envision one.

Here I must disagree.  I can envision a bow without having to think 
symbolically at all.  A bow is a concrete object.  Envisioning a bow draws on 
my spatial reasoning, not on my verbal reasoning.

By the way, I'd like to point out that while the theory of human descent 
currently most popular in the west assigns the neanderthals a dead end, 
there's a competing theory that says humans arose as a result of constant 
interbreeding between the cro magnons and the neanderthals.  This competing 
theory is more popular in the orient - possibly because it's what happened 
there, and not what happened in Europe.

It would be consistent with the fact that asians' performance on intelligence 
tests tends to be more skewed towards spatial reasoning and away from verbal 
reasoning, relative to caucasians.  (And I can say that without being too 
racist, since I'm half chinese).

Getting back to TFT, I would say realistic neanderthals should not have any 
IQ or DX limits, but should have a disad relating to languages and possibly 
skills involving symbolic manipulation.  The TFT stats for neanderthals may 
be more appropriate for the earlier Australopithecines.

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