Why has the human brain evolved so much more than any other animals?

The human brain isn’t “more” evolved. It’s just differently evolved. Our intelligence has its obvious advantages, but it carries some significant costs. Like Joshua Engel says, the big brain is metabolically expensive. It makes childbirth much harder for humans than for other mammals, too. Human babies have to be effectively born prematurely in order to fit the big head through the birth canal, and even so, it takes years for the brain to develop to the point where a person can function on the most basic level. Other mammals are up and walking in a matter of hours, and are ready to fend for themselves after a few weeks.

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Inside the black box

Engineers describe a system whose input and output behavior are known and whose inner workings are otherwise mysterious as a black box. Bruno Latour describes the black box as:

the way scientific and technical work is made invisible by its own success. When a machine runs efficiently, when a matter of fact is settled, one need focus only on its inputs and outputs and not on its internal complexity. Thus, paradoxically, the more science and technology succeed, the more opaque and obscure they become. Continue reading