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Is the human brain still evolving?
How Stuff Works ^ | unknown | Molly Edmonds

Posted on 07/28/2009 11:14:56 PM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld

When we daydream about the future, we tend to focus on the fabulous belongings we're going to have. Jet packs, flying cars, weapons to kill aliens, cell phones that make today's sleek models look clunky -- you name it, we're going to have it. We don't tend to focus, however, on who we'll be in the future. Most of us probably picture ourselves exactly the same, though maybe thinner, as surely we'll all have robot personal trainers by then. While we see the world's technology evolving to meet our needs, we may not think about how we ourselves might be evolving.*

*The story of evolution up to this point explains how we became the upright walking, tool-using homo sapiens of today. The turning point of this story so far concerns cranial expansion. About 2.5 million years ago, hominids started out with a brain weighing approximately 400-450 grams (approximately 1 pound), but around 200,000 to 400,000 years ago, our brains became much bigger than those of other primates [source: Kouprina et al.]. Now, we humans walk around with brains tipping the scales at 1350 to 1450 grams (approximately 3 pounds) [source: Kouprina et al.].

*As humans, we enjoy a much larger neocortex. This area of the brain is the key ingredient that separates us from other species -- it allows us to do our deep thinking, make decisions and form judgments. And while our brain has served us well so far, it certainly has a few defects we wouldn't mind eliminating, like disease, depression and the tendency to make drunken phone calls at 2 a.m. to an ex-boyfriend. But until recently, scientists thought that we were done evolving, that we had reached a sort of evolutional apex. Now, though, some researchers think that we're not quite done.

(Excerpt) Read more at health.howstuffworks.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: anatomy; brain; evolution; evolve; health; human; humanbrain; humanevolution; humans; science

1 posted on 07/28/2009 11:14:58 PM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld
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To: sonofstrangelove

Creationists )(and their ID cousins) with specious arguments and pseudo-science in 3..2..1...


2 posted on 07/28/2009 11:19:52 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: sonofstrangelove
Is the human brain still evolving?

No, it's de-volving. Just look how stupid people are in this country, voting for a fraud like Obama. Heck, they are too stupid to even know the difference between a forged COLB and a real birth certificate, and those are people who are supposed to be educated journalists and investigative reporters, judges, law enforcement and others in high office.

Then there is this global warming BS, deviant sexual behavior, etc etc etc.
Nope, there is no sign of increasing intelligence in this country.

3 posted on 07/28/2009 11:30:27 PM PDT by Nathan Zachary
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To: Nathan Zachary

“Are we not men?”


4 posted on 07/28/2009 11:33:58 PM PDT by Redcloak ("Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: freedumb2003
"About 2.5 million years ago, hominids started out with a brain weighing approximately 400-450 grams (approximately 1 pound), but around 200,000 to 400,000 years ago, our brains became much bigger than those of other primates [source: Kouprina et al.]. Now, we humans walk around with brains tipping the scales at 1350 to 1450 grams (approximately 3 pounds) [source: Kouprina et al.]."

There is absolutely no proof whatsoever that we evolved from monkeys and apes.

5 posted on 07/28/2009 11:34:08 PM PDT by Nathan Zachary
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To: sonofstrangelove
the tendency to make drunken phone calls at 2 a.m. to an ex-boyfriend

LOL

6 posted on 07/28/2009 11:34:18 PM PDT by MinorityRepublican
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To: Nathan Zachary

>> No, it’s de-volving. Just look how stupid people are in this country, voting for a fraud like Obama. Heck, they are too stupid to even know the difference between a forged COLB and a real birth certificate, and those are people who are supposed to be educated journalists and investigative reporters, judges, law enforcement and others in high office.

Then there is this global warming BS, deviant sexual behavior, etc etc etc.
Nope, there is no sign of increasing intelligence in this country.<<

Your logic is unassailable. And we see it in a few years.

Freedom as an ideal is no more. The thinking required to make it work is far gone.

*sigh*


7 posted on 07/28/2009 11:34:27 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: Redcloak
"“Are we not men?”

Hard to tell these days.

8 posted on 07/28/2009 11:37:21 PM PDT by Nathan Zachary
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To: Nathan Zachary
"No, it's de-volving."

I think you're probably right, but for different reasons than you posit. Beginning centuries ago, but especially this last century, a human's brain doesn't no longer to be as effective as it once did to survive. With the advent of social-help programs all over the globe, and particularly in the developed world, one can frankly be dumb as a stump and still make it long enough to procreate.

So, where once only the smartest human animals would "spread their seed", now every moron and their brother is passing their "idiot" gene along to countless unsuspecting human offspring. This is not a good sign in Darwin's Theory of evolution.

9 posted on 07/28/2009 11:48:52 PM PDT by OldDeckHand (No Socialized Medicine, No Way, No How, No Time)
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To: Nathan Zachary

>>There is absolutely no proof whatsoever that we evolved from monkeys and apes<<

There is plenty of scientific proof. But it requires people who understand science to understand it.


10 posted on 07/28/2009 11:55:31 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: sonofstrangelove

It’s absolutely devolving. I can cite countless examples of how and why, but one really needs to look no further than music to see the process.


11 posted on 07/29/2009 12:02:20 AM PDT by chris37
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To: Nathan Zachary

Nor is there proof that oil is found in ancient strata.

And no coal has marks of (now extinct) plants. The La Brea Tarpits are just an elaborate hoax. Yes, hoax. That’s the ticket.


12 posted on 07/29/2009 12:05:26 AM PDT by donmeaker (Invicto)
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To: OldDeckHand

>>So, where once only the smartest human animals would “spread their seed”, now every moron and their brother is passing their “idiot” gene along to countless unsuspecting human offspring. This is not a good sign in Darwin’s Theory of evolution. <<

This has been a hilarious new front on the creationist front.

The “people are getting stupid” (idiocracy) argument, which ignores the nature of stochastism.

Thanks for the laughter. To see TToE in action (idiots breeding supra idiots) is all we need for a rebuttal presumption of TToE in action.


13 posted on 07/29/2009 12:06:38 AM PDT by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: freedumb2003
"This has been a hilarious new front on the creationist front."

I'm hardly an creationist. But, Darwin demands that evolution is at least is partially catalyzed by a species doing what it needs to do to improve itself in order to further it's chances of survival.

The original question of the article is, "Is the human brain still evolving". It seems logical, given man's current predilection to help the helpless, cure the sick, and feed the starving are all things that will work against evolution in the coming millennia. The importance of intellect, oddly enough, is becoming less important as it's no longer paramount to one's survival.

14 posted on 07/29/2009 12:17:39 AM PDT by OldDeckHand (No Socialized Medicine, No Way, No How, No Time)
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To: chris37

Why just add computer chips to our brain to increase its capacity?


15 posted on 07/29/2009 12:24:25 AM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld
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Possibly to interface with computers. To have a thinking capacity of a human and a processing time of a computer.


16 posted on 07/29/2009 12:27:07 AM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld
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To: Nathan Zachary

The modern human brain is a bit smaller than the cro magnon brain.

One does not need as much intelligence to live in a civilized society.

Or domesticated...


17 posted on 07/29/2009 12:34:33 AM PDT by null and void (We are now in day 190 of our national holiday from reality. - 0bama really isn't one of US.)
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To: sonofstrangelove

Capacity is already grossly under utilized. More storage is simply overkill.


18 posted on 07/29/2009 12:39:35 AM PDT by chris37
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To: Nathan Zachary

Well said.


19 posted on 07/29/2009 12:40:49 AM PDT by DontTreadOnMe2009 (So stop treading on me already!)
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To: chris37

But is it that the future of the human race? Genetically enginener a human with bigger brains and greater intelligence using microprocessors neural implants.


20 posted on 07/29/2009 12:43:17 AM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld
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To: sonofstrangelove

Backwards capability : )

CPU’s with emotions...easily trolled/social engineered.

“You appear to be downloading all of my cc information this incident shall be reported”

“WAIT”

“wat?” Don’t tell and I will like um...give you half of the gold in Liberia or something”

“oic”

“ok proceed”


21 posted on 07/29/2009 12:50:26 AM PDT by happinesswithoutpeace (bah)
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To: happinesswithoutpeace

In science fiction, the HAL 9000 computer and Colossus had emotions.


22 posted on 07/29/2009 12:52:25 AM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld
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To: sonofstrangelove

Great stuff.


23 posted on 07/29/2009 12:55:43 AM PDT by happinesswithoutpeace (bah)
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To: sonofstrangelove

Not sure, seeing crack heads with 7 kids but middle income and working class people limiting theimselves to two max makes me think our future looks more like “Idiocracy” rather than “Star Trek”.

http://www.livevideo.com/video/1EFA01743AB2491F99D063C46158820B/idiocracy-intro.aspx


24 posted on 07/29/2009 1:01:53 AM PDT by Bushwacker777
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To: sonofstrangelove

Well, not in my case...BUT, I have no doubt that the human brain advances in capability. After all, everything else does...why not biologic advances...? Of course you have to extract the elder folks from this equation...heh.


25 posted on 07/29/2009 1:26:25 AM PDT by Deagle
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To: Bushwacker777

You are too much of a pessimist. I would gladly volunteer to have microprocessor silicon chips engrams to be placed in my brain to increase brain capacity. I think that we are heading to a future where the computer and the human brain will be interconnected. The military use for this technology would be limitless.


26 posted on 07/29/2009 1:28:45 AM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld
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To: Nathan Zachary
There is absolutely no proof whatsoever that we evolved from monkeys and apes.

I don’t recall anything in evolutionary science that makes that claim. It does seem a mainstay of creationists.
27 posted on 07/29/2009 3:36:37 AM PDT by R. Scott (Humanity i love you because when you're hard up you pawn your Intelligence to buy a drink)
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To: freedumb2003
You mean “with vacuous and superstition based arguments flavored with lies and pseudo-science in 3..2..1...”
28 posted on 07/29/2009 3:42:17 AM PDT by xcamel (The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it. - H. L. Mencken)
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To: OldDeckHand

>>I’m hardly an creationist. But, Darwin demands that evolution is at least is partially catalyzed by a species doing what it needs to do to improve itself in order to further it’s chances of survival. <<

I see you are yet another person who doesn’t understand stochastic processes. You are not alone in your ignorance.


29 posted on 07/29/2009 5:11:38 AM PDT by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: sonofstrangelove

What do you mean by “still”?

We were created in the image and likeness of God have been devolving ever since.


30 posted on 07/29/2009 5:47:08 AM PDT by RoadTest (I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. - John 14:6)
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To: freedumb2003
"I see you are yet another person who doesn’t understand stochastic processes. You are not alone in your ignorance."

Goodness. You are awfully impressed with your evolution. This is a little surprising because you have yet to discover the "secrets" of HTML.

31 posted on 07/29/2009 8:11:25 AM PDT by OldDeckHand (No Socialized Medicine, No Way, No How, No Time)
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To: OldDeckHand
This is a little surprising because you have yet to discover the "secrets" of HTML.

Yes, longhand HTML is a mystery to me.

Good thing I have Sites like this to help me.

Thank God I don't have to do things with XML, with all them style sheets and templates and stuff. And God help us all if I start using VRML or its uncle XVIML

You clearly pierced my:

(I was doing longhand HTML when the only "browser" was Gopher, Sonny)

32 posted on 07/29/2009 9:58:20 AM PDT by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
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BTTT


33 posted on 07/29/2009 5:50:36 PM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld
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To: null and void
The modern human brain is a bit smaller than the cro magnon brain.

Brains burn a lot of food for their weight. They are 2% of body weight yet consume 25% of the calories. So in lean food times, when there is nothing to hunt or gather no matter how clever, the people with big brains are at a calorie disadvantage. Another problem is the size of the mother's pelvis and birth canal. The head can be too big to fit out the factory door. These restrictions have recently been lifted: safe C-sections have been around for 100 years, and unlimited reliable food sources about 50.

The human gene pool is clearly going mongrel. Many descendants are getting more stupid, while a few are getter smarter than ever. The ugly side of evolution, the one no one likes to talk about, is that for evolution to lock in the winners, the losers must die an early death. For humans that's mostly accomplished by tribal warfare. War decides which forks in the human gene pool are improvements.

34 posted on 07/30/2009 4:03:19 AM PDT by Reeses (Leftism is powered by the evil force of envy.)
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To: OldDeckHand
Goodness. You are awfully impressed with your evolution. This is a little surprising because you have yet to discover the "secrets" of HTML.

What, you couldn't defend your little ad hominem attack on my abilities based on your assumption based on incomplete information?

I appreciate your post. I have directed many to it to see just how people with no discernible education nor the ability to discern and distinguish create the most bizarre straw men / non sequitur (take your pick) arguments. To wit: the idea that there a correlation between knowledge of HTML and knowledge of stochastic processes. The fact you are WRONG about the HTML ability is a little bit of icing... it just gave me a personal laugh.

So, Mr. Logic, please tell us all how this works. We wait with both baited and bated breath (I needed to leave room for your cohorts).

35 posted on 08/02/2009 10:13:07 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
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