it's true, our brains have been shrinking for
millennia and you can blame it on the wonders
of civilization. Research has shown that when
population density increased, brain size decreased.
The supposition is that larger pools of shared
labor resulted in specialization of key tasks,
like agriculture or medicine or, I dunno, dildo-manufacturing,
so the brain took the opportunity to shed a
few unnecessary neurons that were previously
used for doing, well, everything.
We've also domesticated ourselves, just as we domesticated wild animals,
which also results in tinier craniums. I know that seems odd but think
about it... whenever an individual acts aggressive, or "savage",
we tend to cut him out of the herd via ostracism or death. We civilized
folk prefer life to be as quiet and predictable as possible. War is just
collective culling. Notice, for example, what a model citizen Germany
for the past 65 years since the Allies cut its virtual nuts off.
There is some indication that brain size is on the increase again, at
least since American colonial times, but that may be nothing more than
the result of better diet. We're physically larger than we were 300 years
ago and a bigger brain naturally comes with the territory. However, judging
from the Racal-burdening fat-asses blocking the
cookie aisle at Wal-Mart the quality of these
brains is mixed.
The Big Question is, which direction is the human brain ultimately headed?
Bigger or smaller? It's not entirely clear but I personally believe American
Idol fans, NASCAR loonies, Scientology, Tea Partiers, and web comic artists
are leading the way towards a glorious Idiocracy... if it isn't already