What evidence is there to show that the brain is still evolving?

The general belief held today is that the brain has remained largely unchanged for the past, at least, twenty thousand years, and that its present form represents the last stage to which evolution, guided by natural selection, has brought it.

But this does not take into account strange characteristics which point to the plasticity of the brain across a wide social group, such as the surprising displays of lightning calculators, geniuses, child prodigies and psychics or even the more mundane phenomena of creativity, inspiration and intellectual talent.

It disregards evidence that the human brain has been in a state of evolution for at least the past 15,000 years, as can be shown by the gradual emergence of the sense of color, the musical sense, and the sense of fragrance, which both literature and language indicate are relatively recent developments and which could not be possible without the participation of the brain. And, it fails to explain the rising political and technological awareness in the mass of mankind, and the phenomenon of revolution, in which a society, tamely submitting to oppressive forms of government for centuries, in a very short space of time refuses to tolerate the restrictions of the existing system, and takes steps to overthrow it.

Why do we accept that by no means known to science can someone mentally infirm be raised to the level of a Shakespeare or an Einstein through education, drugs, or any other means known to science, yet paradoxically accept that a form of life content for thousands of years to live, eat and sleep in conditions more fitted to an animal has essentially the same brain and therefore the same mental capacity as we have now, with the same neuronic complexity, the same basic layout, and therefore the same capacity, range, imagination, and potential?

We accept that the ideas and achievements of an individual must somehow be a shadow cast by his unique brain.  And that the amazing feats of science, undreamed of only a few decades ago, must be the outcome of extraordinary brains somehow working at a higher pitch than the average man, or interpreting the universe at a greater depth, range and perception.

But, even though the Internet, space travel, the Hubble telescope, and the awareness of unimaginable energies contained within the tiny atom would have evoked scorn only a century ago, we still confidently reject any notion that the brain itself has grown in perceptual and imaginative depth over the millennia, and so may be destined for heights inconceivable to us!

What evidence is there to show that the brain is still evolving?


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