Is farming to blame?

<http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2002684/Were-getting-smal ler-brains-shrinking--farming-blame.html>
We're all getting smaller and our brains are shrinking... is farming to blame?
Cambridge University experts say humans are past their peak and that modern-day people are 10 per cent smaller and shorter than their hunter-gatherer ancestors.
And if thats not depressing enough, our brains are also smaller. The findings reverse perceived wisdom that humans have grown taller and larger, a belief which has grown from data on more recent physical development.
(cont.)
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- Billy

Mad dog Republicans to the right. Democratic spider webs to the left. True
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Billy wrote:

Large size is not as much an advantage in farming as it is in hunting.

Brain size is highly correlated with intelligence speciies to species.
Brain size is poorly correlated with intelligence within a species.
There's no sign that we have been losing intelligence along with brain size. Except UseNet posts. Those are a pretty good sign. ;^)
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I got a pretty big punkin head. And I'm a better hunter then a farmer
You mind splaining your statement about big heads are better for hunting.
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DogDiesel wrote:

Other way around is the suspicion. I read this in an article in Discover or Scientific Amercian in the last couple of years so it isn't a speculation I made up on my own. The article Billy cited is likely in the same family of studies as the one I read in the magazine, but I ended up with a different viewpoint on the topic.
Human evolution kept driving both or bodies and brains bigger as we went from root chomping Australopithicene genus to sharp rock wielding Homo genus. But recent evolution within Homo Sapiens has not had the same drivers. Farming has favored smaller bodies and brains while also favoring intelligence. For brains the evolutionary pressure went from smarter at any cost for hunting in energy to as smart for as little energy as possible to survive years with bad crop yields.
As a result there are humans large and small and the variation in our intelligence is independent of our individual body size or or individual brain size.
It takes smarts to develop a selective breding program of crops to increase yield and variety of choices much like it takes smarts to track and kill critters. It only takes a small body to dig crops, especially with sophistocated farming implements like an antler spike or a sharp rock. It takes a pretty big body to carry home a deer that was killed with a sophisticated hunting implement like a bow and arrow. Ranching includes selective breeding for docility. Domesticated herds can be managed by smaller people than wild herds can be hunted.
What this means is a small smart person can figure out to select a wild plant and start breeding it as a garden project. One more vegitable added to the tables of humanity. And that's why some of us are short!
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Nah... You got it backwards :)
http://www.ted.com/talks/michael_pollan_gives_a_plant_s_eye_view.html
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Enjoy Life... Nad R (Garden in zone 5a Michigan)

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The bigger the head the easier it is to hit! (sorry, couldn't help it;>) )
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