Re: Human cranium getting bigger in the last 650 years

Discussion in 'General Fitness' started by DZ, Jan 29, 2006.

  1. DZ

    DZ Guest

    Doug Skrecky <[email protected]> wrote:
    >> http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4643312.stm

    > I'm wondering if perhaps it was a lack of brain power, which delayed
    > the invention of technology. Homo sapiens has been around for over
    > 100,000 years, yet the internal combustion engine is only a few
    > centuries old.


    This study is perhaps in contradiction with the long term
    trend. According to some paleontologists, human brain size reduced
    from what it was 35000 years ago, An explanation is that the society
    provides a buffer that allows some proportion of population to
    reproduce (perhaps at even greater rate^*) even if they are at
    disadvantage, intellectually. As the overall wealth increases, the
    society is more able to sustain successive generations of some
    proportion of families to survive without ever going to work (i.e. to
    some degree without entering the intellectual competition). It's been
    argued that by a similar mechanism, domestic dogs and cats have the
    brain size 1/3 reduced from what it was in the wild species.

    [*] In the US, the best predictor of the number of offspring a woman
    will have is the inverse of her educational level: high birth rates
    are associated with low education:
    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/mvsr/supp/mv45_10s.pdf
     
    Tags:


  2. JMW

    JMW Guest

    DZ <[email protected]> wrote:
    >Doug Skrecky <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>> http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4643312.stm

    >> I'm wondering if perhaps it was a lack of brain power, which delayed
    >> the invention of technology. Homo sapiens has been around for over
    >> 100,000 years, yet the internal combustion engine is only a few
    >> centuries old.

    >
    >This study is perhaps in contradiction with the long term
    >trend. According to some paleontologists, human brain size reduced
    >from what it was 35000 years ago, An explanation is that the society
    >provides a buffer that allows some proportion of population to
    >reproduce (perhaps at even greater rate^*) even if they are at
    >disadvantage, intellectually. As the overall wealth increases, the
    >society is more able to sustain successive generations of some
    >proportion of families to survive without ever going to work (i.e. to
    >some degree without entering the intellectual competition). It's been
    >argued that by a similar mechanism, domestic dogs and cats have the
    >brain size 1/3 reduced from what it was in the wild species.
    >
    >[*] In the US, the best predictor of the number of offspring a woman
    >will have is the inverse of her educational level: high birth rates
    >are associated with low education:
    >http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/mvsr/supp/mv45_10s.pdf


    Have you read this book?

    http://www.freakonomics.com

    You should. It will appeal to you as a statistician. It says a lot
    of things that are quite politically incorrect but statistically
    difficult to deny.
     
  3. "DZ" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > JMW <[email protected]> wrote:
    > >>
    > >>[*] In the US, the best predictor of the number of offspring a woman
    > >>will have is the inverse of her educational level: high birth rates
    > >>are associated with low education:
    > >>http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/mvsr/supp/mv45_10s.pdf

    > >
    > > Have you read this book?
    > >
    > > http://www.freakonomics.com
    > >
    > > You should. It will appeal to you as a statistician. It says a lot
    > > of things that are quite politically incorrect but statistically
    > > difficult to deny.

    >
    > Ok I'll check it.
    > Did I say something politically incorrect?


    I'll second Freakonomics as a great book --
    especially the stuff about abortion vs crime rate.

    Cheers,
    Michael C Price
    ----------------------------------------
    http://mcp.longevity-report.com
    http://www.hedweb.com/manworld.htm
     
  4. DZ

    DZ Guest

    JMW <[email protected]> wrote:
    > DZ <wrote:
    >>Doug Skrecky <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>>> http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4643312.stm
    >>> I'm wondering if perhaps it was a lack of brain power, which delayed
    >>> the invention of technology. Homo sapiens has been around for over
    >>> 100,000 years, yet the internal combustion engine is only a few
    >>> centuries old.

    >>
    >>This study is perhaps in contradiction with the long term
    >>trend. According to some paleontologists, human brain size reduced
    >>from what it was 35000 years ago, An explanation is that the society
    >>provides a buffer that allows some proportion of population to
    >>reproduce (perhaps at even greater rate^*) even if they are at
    >>disadvantage, intellectually. As the overall wealth increases, the
    >>society is more able to sustain successive generations of some
    >>proportion of families to survive without ever going to work (i.e. to
    >>some degree without entering the intellectual competition). It's been
    >>argued that by a similar mechanism, domestic dogs and cats have the
    >>brain size 1/3 reduced from what it was in the wild species.
    >>
    >>[*] In the US, the best predictor of the number of offspring a woman
    >>will have is the inverse of her educational level: high birth rates
    >>are associated with low education:
    >>http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/mvsr/supp/mv45_10s.pdf

    >
    > Have you read this book?
    >
    > http://www.freakonomics.com
    >
    > You should. It will appeal to you as a statistician. It says a lot
    > of things that are quite politically incorrect but statistically
    > difficult to deny.


    Ok I'll check it.
    Did I say something politically incorrect?
     
  5. JMW

    JMW Guest

    DZ <[email protected]> wrote:
    >JMW <[email protected]> wrote:
    >> DZ <wrote:
    >>>Doug Skrecky <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>>>> http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4643312.stm
    >>>> I'm wondering if perhaps it was a lack of brain power, which delayed
    >>>> the invention of technology. Homo sapiens has been around for over
    >>>> 100,000 years, yet the internal combustion engine is only a few
    >>>> centuries old.
    >>>
    >>>This study is perhaps in contradiction with the long term
    >>>trend. According to some paleontologists, human brain size reduced
    >>>from what it was 35000 years ago, An explanation is that the society
    >>>provides a buffer that allows some proportion of population to
    >>>reproduce (perhaps at even greater rate^*) even if they are at
    >>>disadvantage, intellectually. As the overall wealth increases, the
    >>>society is more able to sustain successive generations of some
    >>>proportion of families to survive without ever going to work (i.e. to
    >>>some degree without entering the intellectual competition). It's been
    >>>argued that by a similar mechanism, domestic dogs and cats have the
    >>>brain size 1/3 reduced from what it was in the wild species.
    >>>
    >>>[*] In the US, the best predictor of the number of offspring a woman
    >>>will have is the inverse of her educational level: high birth rates
    >>>are associated with low education:
    >>>http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/mvsr/supp/mv45_10s.pdf

    >>
    >> Have you read this book?
    >>
    >> http://www.freakonomics.com
    >>
    >> You should. It will appeal to you as a statistician. It says a lot
    >> of things that are quite politically incorrect but statistically
    >> difficult to deny.

    >
    >Ok I'll check it.
    >Did I say something politically incorrect?


    You were closing in on it. Statistical fact isn't always polite.
     
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