Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsBiology · 5 years ago

If we would clone humans using the DNA from bones of people who died 5-10 millenia ago, would they be as intelligent as the modern average?

In my humble view, their average wouldn't reach the average of modern (civilized) humans, even if they would receive similar nurture/education.

I can see that it's hard to tell rather nature or nurture is more significant when it comes to intelligence... Nature (i.e. our genome) determines our anatomy - including brain structure - which, to some level, determines physiology and development. But, as we know, nurture and other kinds of environmental conditioning "fine tune" us, especially the brain, it being the most adaptive organ.

Based on my limited knowledge of biology/neurology, I think that even the mere facts that many modern day humans grow up in environments with e.g. walls meeting at 90-degree angles, and all sorts of objects shaped as circles and other "perfect" geometric shapes, not to mention the learned abilities for advanced arithmetics and advanced language skills (compared to that of people who lived in 3-8.000 BC), put us into a state of significantly higher intellectual potential.


I heard and read about so-called "racial memories", which - along with instincts, etc - are explained with concepts of neuroplasticity and epigenetics, as follows: what the specimen perceives, changes its momentary brain dynamics, which somehow results in the alteration of certain epigenetic details in the chromosomes of brain cell.

Update 2:

Then these higher-level epigenetic programmings can somehow be passed on at reproduction. So the offspring(s) have certain cognitive tendencies thanks to certain perceptions and neuro-cognitive processes in the lives of the parents, regardless of previous experiences of their own.

Update 3:

If I'm correct, the ancestors of most people who live today were civilized people 5-10.000 millennia ago... So again, my guess is that there's collective intellectual development going on, not only on the grown-up-individual level, but at the genetic/epigenetic level too (which may well be counter-weighted by the fact that 1st/2nd-world societies "stopped" natural selection).

Update 4:

Lastly, I think there's a big chance that I have several fundamental misunderstandings regarding the current science behind this little question of mine - any help towards the right ideas will be much appreciated. Sorry for the length, and thanks! :-)

Update 5:

[sorry, *5-10* millennia there, not "10.000"]

5 Answers

  • 5 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Most likely yes. The Aurignacian culture is an archaeological culture of the Upper Palaeolithic, located in Europe and southwest Asia. It lasted broadly within the period from ca. 45,000 to 35,000 years ago. The Aurignacian tool industry is characterized by worked bone or antler points with grooves cut in the bottom. Their flint tools include fine blades and bladelets struck from prepared cores rather than using crude flakes. They also made pendants, bracelets, and ivory beads, as well as three-dimensional figurines. Perforated rods, thought to be spear throwers or shaft wrenches, also are found at their sites. The sophistication and self-awareness demonstrated in the work led archaeologists to consider the makers of Aurignacian artifacts the first modern humans in Europe.

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  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    How do you save a child's life? Perhaps a more suitable question would be: How could you not save a child's life? Disease is rampant, murder is at an all-time high, and accidents are easier to run by than at previous times. If this is not heartbreaking, what is? We all know how large 10.5 million is. $10.5 million, most would consider this a large sum of cash. 10.5 million stars in the sky, how many wishes could be granted? 10.5 million hours would cover the last millenium plus two hundred years. 10.5 million children under the age of five die every year, that's the entire population of New York City and more. How on Earth can we stop this? There is no simple answer, only a complex answer. Not a one can take on the severity of the situation. Everything must be accounted for. Every disease, murder, accident, they must all be seen collectively, but distinguished and set apart as well. Only then can we attack this problem head-on. The answer however lost in context it might be, is there to be found. Disease, a complicated part of this, cannot be taken down as easily as one might hope. It is a blemish here on Earth, one that can never be completely destroyed, yet scientists are working on this day after day and night after night, it is only reasonable that an answer be on its way. Murder, how can this no longer be a factor? Maybe it must first be attacked before the onset. This also is complicated, and the answer may never be fully realized. Accidents, accidents we can attack, at least on some ground. It is important to remove any doubt.

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  • 5 years ago

    There are populations of modern humans that were separated longer than that from other populations. It probably isn't enough to make a measurable difference or it should be obvious is modern populations. Personally I doubt you would find much difference if you went back 10 times that far. At a million years you likely would see less language and logic abilities but even that is speculation.

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  • 5 years ago


    You'd have to raise them like the "first world" kids of today, though: vaccinations, nutrition, education.

    If you're interested in reading more on this (really interesting) topic, look up the causes of the Flynn Effect.

    If I could give you ten points for having asked this question, I would do it.

    • Attila5 years agoReport

      I will definitely look up your recommendation... and thank you very much for the kind words; it always gives me a good feeling when I encounter nice strangers online. (And it makes me sick when people live with every single opportunity to be mean and derogatory with others they don't know) :(

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  • 5 years ago

    You have a lot of rambling about your little fantasy there, but I notice a distinct lack of anything remotely resembling a single piece of hard evidence. Therefore, this is not a theory. It's just bullshitting around.

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