Sunday, September 09, 2007

Rejoice, Ye Bloggers: We Have Bigger Heads!

And I do mean literally, at least 20% bigger than our ancestors.

Which ancestors? Cro-Magnons? Neanderthals?

No! What about our medieval peers of 650 years ago.

Credit a BBC report for this exhilarating revelation, which announced the results of studies on our European ancestors of 650 years ago, which would be in the 14th century. Comparative analyses showed our earlier peers as having smaller cranial vaults compared to the exalted present version, giving new meaning to the common observation of our having bigger foreheads. And by extension and/or implication, we therefore have bigger and more cranial matter, that gray goo that fills our head above our eyes. And thus smarter and/or more intelligent?

Another angle to this revelation is an apparent repudiation of our common perception that Darwin’s evolution takes a much longer time to process and show results, and that 600 years in that context could be considered very little time.

Which by the way, while the vault has broadened and become more prominent, man’s other facial features have become less prominent. This I suppose includes his nose, cheeks, jaws, mouth, eyes, etc. On a side note, wouldn’t this suggest that in the same vein, man has to develop more hair to cover the enlarged skull? What about the typically larger than necessary ego that modern man is prone to display and parade around? Has it gotten bigger, too? (HeHeHe)

While the physical changes are undeniable, one can’t help wonder what crucial factors brought about these accelerated changes. Or whether these remarkable changes are simply an aberration of nature rather than an expected progressive step in the ladder of evolution?

Some would point to better nutrition and the much improved overall living conditions as very crucial contributing factors for the increase in size, the same remarkable increases that we see in man’s overall physique – bigger, taller, faster, stronger, better looking, and what have you.

This finding also brings others to suggest that his may account for the remarkable explosion in man’s creativity and inventiveness in the intervening years. Stupendous advances in the sciences and technology, and of course, the overall equally robust advances in civilization.

Finally, this does give us pause to recognize and honor the womenfolk who have had to bear the physical brunt of this phenomenon – the physically exacting process of giving birth to babies with bigger heads!

Although to a universally acceptable extent, the menfolk already recognize and adore the current womenfolk’s enlarged pelvic bones which have carried over externally to more abundantly well-defined and temptingly sensual hips. The Classic Coca-Cola body!

Graphics Credit


  1. This is a very limited study and only seems to include a small part of Europe, so I wouldn't get a "big head" just yet Amadeo.

    One of the primary reasons certain changes take hold and continue among peoples is what those people find sexually attractive. If women like tall big-headed men with widely spaced eyes, then after 700 years you can bet that that is what you'll end up with. Then again, if the ladies go for the cerebral type thinking they will more likely be provided for, then once again, you can count on seeing that preference reflected in the generations.

    Among humans, Sex is THE primary factor that decides what traits are passed on.

  2. Indeed, Phil, let's not get swell-headed. HeHeHe.

    Just thought I'd play around with this news item I discovered while surfing.

    As a species who are too absorbed about where we are heading and where we have been. Though I sense we limit ourselves to things tangible and easily measurable.

    I would like to see man pay more attention to nobler issues arising out of his nobler nature.

  3. Oh I agree that its a neat article to discuss. You certainly got me thinking.

  4. Did the study include cosmetic surgery? heehee

  5. b and w:


    But we have read of certain African (or was it South American?) tribes who bind the heads of infants so when they grow up their heads appear taller (and bigger?).

    Indeed, cosmetic surgery is quite common - in modern man.

    But a little trivia. Have read before that certain celebrities (was it Cher or Racquel Welch?) may have had the lowermost pair of their front ribs surgically removed to give a better appearance.

    It's all too crazy.

  6. You know it's gotta be true. I remember visiting Old Ironsides in Boston Harbor and thinking geez, they stooped a lot back then, till someone told me Americans average height in 1776 was around 5'2". Must be all the hormones they're putting in the food or feed.

  7. Dean, funny you mentioned the average US height at 5’2” in 1776. But the Napoleon subject of the Napoleon Complex and born about the same time was 5’2”, in French feet. Converted into English feet which we are using today, he was 5’6.5” so not bad even based on current standards.

    But admittedly though, the Filipinos living in the US today I would say based on anecdotal evidence are typically bigger and larger than the home-grown ones. It is certainly true in my own family.

  8. Well the basketball folks love it. My brother in San Mateo, CA recruits Filams for the DLSU archers. It's certainly not just the heads that are getting bigger. hehe

  9. This is interesting, Dean, because I lived in San Mateo, CA, for over 20 years and unfortunately never met or heard about your brod.

    So is it because of his efforts that DLSU is winning against Ateneo? HeHeHe.

  10. I guess if we project this many years into the far future, we really might start looking like the aliens as they are popularly portrayed. Therefore, we might have to reconsider that these aliens are actually future descendants who came back in time.

  11. by the way, that ancient head-elongation practice you mentioned is in south america. it was to imitate their gods, who aside from having elongated heads, have fair skin like caucasians -- or aliens... dum-dudum... >-)

  12. Thanks for the clarification, Dave. I should have known better that some of those South American tribal communities have very unique and weird practices.

    Another weird one coming from that region is where these river-faring men lodge permanently a flat wooden object between the lower teeth and the lower lip so that that appendage extends several inches outward, giving them the look of a platypus of some sort. Can't even keep their lips closed.

    What about another African tribe that begins adding rings to the necks of their female children so that by the time they reach adulthood their necks have extended many inches more than normal? According to them, a show of their concept of beauty, an elongated neck. Scientists have theorized that the necks have been so stretched that if one removes the many rings the neck would not be able to properly support the head.


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