Monday, February 7, 2011

Shrinking Brains Prove Human Evolution?


February 6, 2011
Creation Safaris

Ever since Darwin, brain size has been the measure of human nature. Except for some anomalies with Neanderthal and Cro-magnon skull sizes, the iconic march of human evolution showed growing upright posture accompanied by increasing brain size (example on Daily Mail), and brain size was used to discriminate between races on the presumption it was a measure of intelligence. It is not clear, therefore, what to make of a question on PhysOrg, “Are brains shrinking to make us smarter?”

It seems evolutionists want to have it both ways. Larger brains are evidence of evolution; smaller brains are evidence of evolution. Does the new claim muddy the waters of brain size as the measure of increasing human intelligence? The article tries to draw links between brain size as a function of body mass, or of population size, but it’s not clear any trend is detectable. In fact, the article later admits that brain size is not well linked to intelligence. Brian Hare (Duke U) said, “But the downsizing does not mean modern humans are dumber than their ancestors – rather, they simply developed different, more sophisticated forms of intelligence.”

The article ended by Hare hoping that humans will express their inner bonobo. Chimps are more aggressive and violent. “Humans are both chimps and bobos [sic] in their nature and the question is how can we release more bonobo and less chimp,” he said. “I hope bonobos win... it will be better for everyone.”

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