Ms Pearce’s conclusions are based on inadequate thinking and reasoning, all of which seem likely to be able to fit in a matchbox and still have room to spare. Ms Pearce’s research found that Neanderthals had significantly larger eye sockets than Homo sapiens – by an average of 6mm from top to bottom. From this she surmised that, although this seems like a small amount, that it was enough for Neanderthals to use significantly more of their brains to process visual information. “Since Neanderthals evolved at higher latitudes, more of the Neanderthal brain would have been dedicated to vision and body control, leaving less brain to deal with other functions like social networking,” she told BBC News. Ye gods !!!
This is quite inadequate evidence for any such a leap however, when coupled with this statement, “They were very, very smart, but not quite in the same league as Homo Sapiens. That difference might have been enough to tip the balance when things were beginning to get tough at the end of the last ice age” from Prof Robin Dunbar Oxford University you can see some of the underlying reasons it may have been grabbed at. For many people it’s very important to be able to say the Neanderthals were “not quite in the same league as Homo Sapiens”. As long as superiority is important to people cloud-castles such as Ms Pearce propounds will get built on the sand of inadequate reasoning.
The size of the cranium, or the size of the eye socket, tell you absolutely nothing about the workings of the grey matter that was once inside it. All you can say is that it’s likely that the smaller the cranium the less grey matter was inside it. We don’t think through amount of grey matter, we think through the synaptic connections made through the agency of the brain. The complexity of those connections is not governed by the size of the eye socket nor can one extrapolate that the size of the eye socket means more connections were related to sight as opposed to any other function.
Cognition work has shown us over the past century and more that how the brain connects, how the synapses make pathways through the brain is the most important thing to do with creativity and the ability to think and reason. Ms Pearce needs to go back to school and, hopefully, to go on some cognition training to learn to expand her thinking out of the inadequate box it’s currently in.
For goodness sake !!! If this is the kind of science being done let’s give the woman a brush and get her onto road sweeping, surely she must be better at that ???