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