Author Topic: If Modern Humans Are So Smart, Why Are Our Brains Shrinking?  (Read 3802 times)

Devious Viper
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If Modern Humans Are So Smart, Why Are Our Brains Shrinking?
« on: January 10, 2011, 06:18:20 PM »
Over the past 20,000 years, the average volume of the human male brain has decreased from 1,500 cubic centimeters to 1,350 cc, losing a chunk the size of a tennis ball. The female brain has shrunk by about the same proportion...

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onishadowolf

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Re: If Modern Humans Are So Smart, Why Are Our Brains Shrinking?
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2011, 09:28:13 PM »
It's leveling off, stabilizing in other words. Because clearly it hasn't affected the average intelligence, of course some people beg to be an example of it affecting them. ;)
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Nina
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Re: If Modern Humans Are So Smart, Why Are Our Brains Shrinking?
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2011, 11:02:21 PM »
Id say the use of technology and modern living is making us stupid. We hardly need skills we needed before to survive, so the evolution is giving up on many traits that are no longer necessary.

onishadowolf

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Re: If Modern Humans Are So Smart, Why Are Our Brains Shrinking?
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2011, 11:24:15 PM »
Not necessarily,  we still use them in different ways.

I think it's like a car attempting to pass, you accelerate passed a point and then drop back down leveling to a cruising speed. I believe that's what happened. 
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Nina
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Re: If Modern Humans Are So Smart, Why Are Our Brains Shrinking?
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2011, 04:31:33 AM »
Oh, ok, we do use them in different ways, now we just open our fb account and wait for the world to request friendship  :lol:

onishadowolf

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Re: If Modern Humans Are So Smart, Why Are Our Brains Shrinking?
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2011, 06:38:39 AM »
Lol No, our critical thinking skills are used differently. Problem solving other things, instead of how to take down the mammoth/bison/buffalo. Except for those good Ol' boys in the orange vests and camo lol

Contrary to belief, technology causes more complicated problems while taking other problems away. Just ask any IT guy at a office. :P
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Angelus

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Re: If Modern Humans Are So Smart, Why Are Our Brains Shrinking?
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2011, 11:06:05 AM »
Brain size is not directly related to inteligence. We are the smartest animals on our planet, (I know people are going to argue this but show me a dolphin that understands chaos theory or an ape that can build a waste management system) but other animals are knowen to have larger brains. Ergo, not a factor in inteligence.
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Re: If Modern Humans Are So Smart, Why Are Our Brains Shrinking?
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2011, 11:19:47 AM »
  One wonders if said animals only use a small portion of their gray matter.  And if it is found that they use 100% what is it that they are doing.  One also wonders if the shrinkage is in any way related to the decline in ESP capabilities that we as humans seem to no longer be able to demonstrate/use.  Has science/technology caused our bodies to have shed an unneeded portion of our brain like the the body has certain organs.
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Devious Viper
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Re: If Modern Humans Are So Smart, Why Are Our Brains Shrinking?
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2011, 12:03:53 PM »
Brain size is not directly related to inteligence. We are the smartest animals on our planet, (I know people are going to argue this but show me a dolphin that understands chaos theory or an ape that can build a waste management system) but other animals are known to have larger brains. Ergo, not a factor in inteligence.

No, it is directly related, but you're forgetting that scaling is the key part of the relationship: eg, an elephant's brain is 4 times the size of a human's, but elephants are also a wee bit bigger than us... The ratio of brain volume to body mass (the encephalization quotient, or EQ) is what matters.

Intriguingly, the human brain has shrunk so much just since the Bronze Age that for us to now have the same EQ as Bronze Age Man, we would have to shrink our bodies to the size of a pygmy...

It's leveling off, stabilizing in other words. Because clearly it hasn't affected the average intelligence, of course some people beg to be an example of it affecting them. ;)

But that can only ever be an assumption, because we have no way of knowing what the average IQ levels of our ancestors actually were... If a cro-magnon or neanderthal person was raised from birth in a modern family, surrounded by gadgets and computers etc., s/he may turn out to be the most intelligent person on the planet today...

Id say the use of technology and modern living is making us stupid. We hardly need skills we needed before to survive, so the evolution is giving up on many traits that are no longer necessary.


This is - seriously! - what they call the "Idiocracy" theory: as complex societies have evolved, we simply don't need to be as smart to stay alive as we once did.

Alternatively, maybe we're streamlining our brains for efficiency: it already uses 20% of the body's calorific intake just by itself... But science doesn't yet know what the actual answer is.

Maybe scientists are getting dumber  :-D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSROlfR7WTo





« Last Edit: January 11, 2011, 12:29:50 PM by Devious Viper »

Nina
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Re: If Modern Humans Are So Smart, Why Are Our Brains Shrinking?
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2011, 12:49:41 PM »
Lol No, our critical thinking skills are used differently. Problem solving other things, instead of how to take down the mammoth/bison/buffalo. Except for those good Ol' boys in the orange vests and camo lol

Contrary to belief, technology causes more complicated problems while taking other problems away. Just ask any IT guy at a office. :P

Lol! No, the differences are way smaller then you would think, thanks to making everything systematized most of human population, except those less fortunate, live this way. Im not talking only of hunting mammoths and I could care less of criminal minds of your ol boys in orange vests and camo lol.

Contrary to what you say about tech causing complicated problems, they are complicated and mind b boggling only to those who develop them, cause the end user gets the simplest program. And maybe that guy at IT office didnt earn his highschool diploma? :P

onishadowolf

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Re: If Modern Humans Are So Smart, Why Are Our Brains Shrinking?
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2011, 10:31:48 PM »
Evolution doesn't work backwards, there are some cases but that's not the norm, so we can only advance ahead. Adaptation is part of evolution, but not evolution. We adapt by improvising for what we lack in a environment, cold weather we put on a coat and etc. Animals physically adapt mostly, we do not mostly.
It is now known that brain size is not related to intelligence, it's a sign that is misleading at times.   We put nitrious into our tanks to beat the evolution race and now we're going back normal speeds. We've made more advances in the last thousand years than any other, that show say something about the brain streamlining itself.

Criminal minds???? I was talking about hunters, who have gaming licenses and use every part of the animal.

How many times do you solve a problem in a day? Navigating your city, house, or math, or figuring out why something isn't working, these are just a few quick examples of using those skills you say that we are losing.
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Nina
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Re: If Modern Humans Are So Smart, Why Are Our Brains Shrinking?
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2011, 02:51:55 AM »
To animals, hunters are criminals  :wink:

And i actually dont solve as nearly enough problems a day to keep me sharp. But I guess you work as a propulsion scientis
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onishadowolf

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Re: If Modern Humans Are So Smart, Why Are Our Brains Shrinking?
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2011, 03:46:26 AM »
Haha, no I work at a gas station and just finished a career college. You seem sharp enough to me, so obviously you solve enough. :D

Animals hunt other animals, there is no crime in that. None the less, I tip my hat to you because to each their own.
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Nina
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Re: If Modern Humans Are So Smart, Why Are Our Brains Shrinking?
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2011, 03:50:35 AM »
Thank you  :-) although i dont think im that sharp, or else id rearrange my life differently. I always thought that ability to adapt is the sign of  intelligence, so what i wanted to say basically is that to humans its easier to adapt to easier way of life. So if anything like a global catastrophe would hit Earth, most of population would extinct only due to lack of that ability. Thats what I wanted to say. But Im easy to distract with other stream of thought. Im a woman, must be it  :laugh:

onishadowolf

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Re: If Modern Humans Are So Smart, Why Are Our Brains Shrinking?
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2011, 04:03:34 AM »
Might be or could be ADD lol ;)

True in the sense you think of it.
But we will never truly know until that time comes.
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