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As the article mentions it's only 70k years ago that we start seeing unambiguous indicators of intelligence. The normal figure for this indicator, the upper paleolithic revolution, is 50k years. In any case that's where we first start seeing significant and then rapidly widespread signs of intelligence - fishing, extensive adornment, wide artifact collections, burial ceremony, and much more.

The point here is that the archaeological record seems to indicate that it's like one day we simply 'woke up.' Whomever was fortunate enough to experience such a mutation first would have had a tremendous competitive advantage. The degree in intellectual advancement is such that they would have probably been significantly better at just about everything -- most importantly in surviving and spreading their genes. Now take this person and what would likely have been their vast number of offspring. They could effectively take over the world. And I suppose, in a manner of speaking, they did.

> the archaeological record seems to indicate that it's like one day we simply 'woke up.'

Either that or the kinds of artifacts we look for simply don’t last longer than 70k years on a planet like this.

Or, it’s just rare enough that, when combined with the cost of excavation and the fact that scholarship builds on scholarship, it’s just not the kind of evidence scholars are going to dig far past we’ll established boundaries to find.

Lots of possible explanations for the data.

It is entirely possible the capacity for this existed but was not being used. That would explain why it spread so rapidly... perhaps most humans already had the capacity?

I think it's implied that the capacity was there, just no impetus.

This all reminds me of the Bicameral Mind hypothesis, although that dates that point of 'waking up' much later.

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