Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Remember the Star Trek Aliens With The Bulging Brains?

The original series, I mean, like "The Menagerie" episode?  We're going to be the aliens!  Scientists studying head size are discovering something:
As researchers Lee Jantz, coordinator of Forensic Anthropology Center, Richard Jantz, professor emeritus, and Joanne Devlin, adjunct assistant professor, catalogued 1,500 noggins they observed that white people who were born in the 20th century had bigger heads.
...
The height of white male skulls has increased by eight millimeters and the overall skull has grown by 200 cubic centimeters. For women, cranium height increased by seven millimeters and overall by 180 cubic centimeters. 
“The basic thing that we observed over the course of looking at crania that belong to people born from 1820s to 1980s, is that the cranium has gotten higher and narrower,” says Richard Jantz, who is married to Lee.
At least part of this evolutionary improvement is that the alien bighead births now happen by C-section, whereas they used to lead to death for the mother, and often the baby as well.  A mother who survives because of a C-section is able to have another alien bighead as well.

4 comments:

Windy Wilson said...

So, we're essentially evolving into a race that cannot survive without technology?

Clayton Cramer said...

Yes. Although C-section is not a terribly advanced technology. My understanding is that the major change that made it start working in the late 18th century was recognition that the involution of the uterus caused stitches to tear out, causing internal hemorhaging.

Rorschach said...

Well, that and the discovery of the germ theory of disease and the fact that a surgeon washing his hands went a long way towards the survival of his patient...

Windy Wilson said...

Dr. Semmelweiss!