If Modern Humans Are So Smart, Why Are Our Brains Shrinking?

Probably one of the coolest articles I’ve read in this course. Found this on Discover magazine also, enjoy!

http://discovermagazine.com/2010/sep/25-modern-humans-smart-why-brain-shrinking

Till now science had never noted the fact that if present day humans have superior intelligence as compared to our ancestor, why exactly are our brains shrinking? This question caught scientists off guard and left them totally baffled. It would seem to make sense that a larger brain has the capability to process things far more efficiently than a smaller brain. The article implied that for 2 million years of our evolution, our brains have been growing and now there is a reversal of growth which is causing our brains to shrink from its former size. ” 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. “I’d call that major downsizing in an evolutionary eyeblink.”

This article relates to the class because we discussed how as humans evolved over time, it was proven that our brain size actually increased and our faces decreased. It is interesting to see how we are evolving now as modern humans. This article leaves many unanswered questions for the future. Can our brains actually be shrinking and getting smaller with every coming generation?

I really enjoyed the Discovery Magazine site because it provided me with a lot of interesting topics to choose from. It had many interesting articles on there such as this one and another article I posted before for one of my blogs.

Homo Sapiens, Meet Your New Astounding Family

I found this awesome article on discover magazine! It’s quite remarkable and gives us great insight on our origins and other possible theories behind human evolution.

http://discovermagazine.com/2011/may/25-homo-sapiens-meet-new-astounding-family

It was commonly accepted that our ancestors originated from the Africa, specifically the Great Rift Valley Region ( place of huge tectonic plate disturbance). Now science and new research has delved further into our birthplace and has revealed to us new and profound discoveries.  “Homo floresiensis” also known as the “hobbit people” have been found to migrate out of Indonesia, shattering the decades old theories of humans originating solely from Africa. It is interesting that their existence coincided with Homo Sapiens and perhaps other humanoids. The usage of paleogenomics and other analyses have shown a broad and far genealogy behind DNA of the past and present. Amazingly, the article mentions that 25% of genome populations outside of Africa are Neandrathal. Also, other humanoid speices have left their genomic mark on the population today. This correlates to the class because it combines it combines the three points on the triangle, which are biological, cultural, and environmental factors that come into the play throughout human evolution. Also, the article engages briefly into Neandrathals, something also mentioned in the class. This article I thought was thoroughly written, it incoporated scientific as well as anthropological aspects behind the development and eventual rise of humans. Also the addition of valid references from anthropology and genomics experts helped further reinforce the article’s facts and theories.