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  1. #11
    Crazy Diamond Billy's Avatar
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    Its not the size that matters! Oh shit wait yes it does when it comes to brains...

  2. #12
    Nerd King Usurper Edgar's Avatar
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    Granted, I don't exactly have a PhD in biology, but from little that I know about evolution is that it doesn't occur through repetitive motions (I.e. if you click your mouse a lot, doesn't mean your children will have long index fingers). It involves a mutation in a small, contained genetic pool, which then expands through reproduction. So I don't see any reason how humans would evolve in the last 5000 years (we were already dominant species then)

    The reason for the smaller brain size could be the same reason for the decreased muscle mass. The capacity is there, we just don't use it as much. For example, I would guess that a lot of people who don't hunt for a living don't have an acute sense of smell, because they simply had no reason to train it.

    And how does one measure the brain mass of people dead for thousands of years anyway... the whole thing has a whiff of "tabloid science"
    Listen to me, baby, you got to understand, you're old enough to learn the makings of a man.

  3. #13
    (blankpages) Xenon's Avatar
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    Yes, unless these theorists can also show a decrease in certain mental abilities there is no reason to assume humans are getting stupider.

    Scientists have compared brain size in different species several ways, trying to find something that makes humans stand out. They've looked at absolute size, they've looked at size relative to body weight, they've compared the sizes of specific "higher" brain regions, and they've come up with a measure called the "encephalization quotient" which compares the brain size of an animal with the expected brain size given the animal's overall size. The last one was the only one in which humans came out on top, and even then the difference wasn't exactly striking.

    Now the thinking is intelligence of a species may have more to do with the density of neurons in brain tissue, or the speed at which neural impulses can travel.

  4. #14
    (blankpages) Xenon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar View Post
    Granted, I don't exactly have a PhD in biology, but from little that I know about evolution is that it doesn't occur through repetitive motions (I.e. if you click your mouse a lot, doesn't mean your children will have long index fingers). It involves a mutation in a small, contained genetic pool, which then expands through reproduction. So I don't see any reason how humans would evolve in the last 5000 years (we were already dominant species then)
    Yeah, that too. So our capacity for intelligence won't decrease simply because people aren't fully using their brains; there has to actually be a reproductive advantage to decreased intelligence to allow those genes to spread. For intelligence to "devolve", high intelligence (or something related to it) would have to cause one to leave behind fewer offspring than the less intelligent, over a long period of time.

  5. #15
    Crazy Diamond Billy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar View Post
    Granted, I don't exactly have a PhD in biology, but from little that I know about evolution is that it doesn't occur through repetitive motions (I.e. if you click your mouse a lot, doesn't mean your children will have long index fingers). It involves a mutation in a small, contained genetic pool, which then expands through reproduction. So I don't see any reason how humans would evolve in the last 5000 years (we were already dominant species then)

    The reason for the smaller brain size could be the same reason for the decreased muscle mass. The capacity is there, we just don't use it as much. For example, I would guess that a lot of people who don't hunt for a living don't have an acute sense of smell, because they simply had no reason to train it.

    And how does one measure the brain mass of people dead for thousands of years anyway... the whole thing has a whiff of "tabloid science"
    I dont think evolution stops... ever. I think its just how things change related to the environment people are in based on what is best suited for survival. If having long index fingers provides an advantage for a long enough time line because it gives people more economic power to raise a family effectively the persons with long index fingers will breed more children then those without.

  6. #16
    Crazy Diamond Billy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blankpages View Post
    Yeah, that too. So our capacity for intelligence won't decrease simply because people aren't fully using their brains; there has to actually be a reproductive advantage to decreased intelligence to allow those genes to spread. For intelligence to "devolve", high intelligence (or something related to it) would have to cause one to leave behind fewer offspring than the less intelligent, over a long period of time.
    I remember reading an article one time that said how the human spiecies is evolving in differnt directions.

    The more intelligent and attractive will eventually evolve to be more intelligent and more attractive, while the less intelligent and less attractive will grow stronger and be able to do more grunt work.

    Holy shit, TIME MACHINE!

  7. #17
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blankpages View Post
    For intelligence to "devolve", high intelligence (or something related to it) would have to cause one to leave behind fewer offspring than the less intelligent, over a long period of time.
    You ever see the beginning of Idiocracy?

    Though I don't really agree that that's what's happening.

  8. #18
    Listening Oaky's Avatar
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    Human intelligence is declining. Find me a man who can design the pyramids like it's architect and I would consider thinking otherwise. We don't have that genius anymore.
    Of course there is rocket science and all that but that can be learnt within a matter of years whereas no one has yet figured out how the pyramids were so accurately designed.

  9. #19
    (blankpages) Xenon's Avatar
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    ^ I haven't actually. Though I kinda figured someone would make a remark along those lines.

    (this was in response to ajblaise)

  10. #20
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ragingkatsuki View Post
    Human intelligence is declining. Find me a man who can design the pyramids like it's architect and I would consider thinking otherwise. We don't have that genius anymore.
    Of course there is rocket science and all that but that can be learnt within a matter of years whereas no one has yet figured out how the pyramids were so accurately designed.
    Because the Egyptians had developed rocket science? Seriously, what kind of dumb comparison is that?
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