Abstract Thought Precedes Rational Thought
as Evident in Stone Tool Cave Markings

Abstract thought refers to the ability to think beyond concrete objects and experiences, allowing individuals to conceptualize ideas and create mental representations of things that are not immediately present. Rational thought, on the other hand, involves the use of logic and reason to solve problems and make decisions.

Stone tool: 2.6 million years

The development of stone tools is an excellent example of how abstract thought precedes rational thought. Early hominids, such as Homo Naledi, began creating stone tools around 2.6 million years ago. These tools were initially simple and unmodified rocks, but over time, they evolved into more complex and specialized tools, such as hand axes and cleavers. The emergence of these tools is an indicator of abstract thought in early humans as they started to conceptualize and understand the relationship between specific shapes and functions.

Here’s how the process likely unfolded:

  1. Abstract Thought: The early hominids observed rocks of various shapes and sizes in their environment. Through abstract thought, they began to recognize that certain shapes could serve specific purposes. For example, they might have noticed that a flat, sharp-edged rock could be used to cut through objects, or a rounded rock could be used for pounding or smashing.
  2. Experimentation and Rational Thought: As the early humans engaged in experimentation, they tested differe