Iranian chess set from the 12th century
“This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him.”
We have for so long been led to believe that early man evolved from the animal kingdom and, thus, began with little intelligence. But is our mental capacity today really the result of evolution from brute beginnings?
From time to time, individuals display a mental capacity that far exceeds their need of it. This anomaly presents a serious challenge to the theory of evolution. Consider the example of George Koltanowski, International ChessGrandmaster. In 1960 he played against 56 other chessmasters simultaneously, winning 50 games and tying 6. He took about 10 seconds per move and was blindfolded throughout the entire nine-hour marathon! This is an incredible achievement of the human memory. Evolution is said to depend upon chance mutations that give the individual a survival advantage, but it is difficult to see how this would explain George Koltanowski’s extraordinary memory capacity.
It is sometimes suggested that most of us only use part of our brain capacity, while a genius uses almost all of it. But why would an evolutionary process have given us all this capacity in the first place? A far more reasonable argument is that today’s genius is simply an unusual retention of ancestral brain capacity that reminds us that God created man in His own image.
Notes: Hooper, J.R. & A. Whyld. The Oxford Companion to Chess. Oxford University Press, 1992, p. 206.
Photo: Courtesy of Zereshk. Licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2.
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