CARTA webcast: Impact of Tool Use & Technology on the Evolution of the Human Mind

Join the live webcast! “Impact of Tool Use and Technology on the Evolution of the Human Mind” is the topic of a free public symposium hosted by the UCSD/Salk Center for Academic Research & Training in Anthropogeny (CARTA) and the Kavli Institute for Brain & Mind (KIBM) on Friday, October 12th (1:00 – 5:30 pm PT), co-chaired by Tim White (UC Berkeley) and Patricia Churchland (UC SanDiego).

We “behaviorally modern humans” likely emerged more than 100,000 years ago in Africa, spread across the continent and eventually the planet, effectively replacing all closely related and potentially competitive species. There are many possible explanations for this, but one key to our consistent success in such replacement was the ongoing co-evolution of the human brain/mind with tool use and technology that actually began much earlier – all the way back to the use of simple stone implements millions of years ago – and continues with computers today.

Nine experts in the field will address this important gene-culture co-evolutionary process in anthropogeny at all levels, beginning with the potential link between early stone tool use and the parallel expansion of the human brain. We’ll explore humans’ control of fire and the invention of projectile weapons, all the way through reading and writing to current-day technologies such as computers and 3D reality, as well as look to the potential future of the human mind under the impact of continually evolving culture.

Comparisons with other living and extinct species will be made, and we’ll touch on other relevant cognitive features unusually well-developed in humans, such as language, theory of mind and cooperation.

Join us to explore answers to a question first posed by Alfred Russel Wallace: How did the human mind originally evolve such remarkable capabilities in Africa, ‘in advance of its needs’? After all, even today no human is born with the genetic capability to make even simple stone tools!

Access the live webcast here on October 12: