Prefrontal Cortex and Evolution

John H. johnhkm at netsprintXXXX.net.au
Sat Oct 28 08:30:42 EST 2000

Title  [African Exodus: The Origins of Modern Humans
Author  [Chris Stringer & Robin McKie
Publisher [Jonathon Cape
Place Pub [London
Date  [1996

Bigger brains and bigger bodies for colder climates.
Tierra del Feugian: 1590
Peruvian women 1219
French men  1585
men from Xhosa (Mandela tribe) 1570

cf, Beals, Smith and Dodd, 1984. 'Brain size, cranial morphology, climate
and time machines', Current Anthropology, 25:301-30


There are so many things that can affect brain size that creating a 'race
based' understanding of human cerebral evolution is just plain stupid.
Petralona Man, circa 280,000 years ago, had big brain case, Neandertals and
Cro-Magnons, even after adjusting for bodyweight, may have had bigger brains
than us.

Go read some nutritional studies, many nutritional deficiencies will play
havoc with cerebral maturation, sadly I believe that many of the problems in
various parts of the world may not be solved until a generation raised on
good nutritional food (and all the rest ... ) has a chance to get a hold of
the country. This is far too long to go into here but I trust the original
author notes that if you want to understand something about cerebral
development than you might want to exercise yours by first spending a
gazillion hours in the library, then coming out completely bedazzled you
will refrain from making such unfounded and unnecessary inflammatory
suggetions. Go over to Rec.org.mensa, the "smart ones" over there are always
raising these straw men. They've been doing it for years, you just gotta
wonder about human intelligence sometimes. "Our way of going about thinking
is not something on which we can congratulate ourselves." (Saul Bellow)

Which 'race' is the most violent and destructive on the planet? Whitey.
Which colour has the greatest potential to create complete chaos across the
globe. Whitey. Which colour assumes the perogative or ruling and dominating
everything. Whitey. Which colour has created enough weapons to blow up the
globe many many times over? Sounds pretty bloody stupid to me.

Hi Nick,

Remove 4X

Nick Medford <nick at hermit0.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:+$wgRBAFQg+5EwpN at hermit0.demon.co.uk...
> Hi Richard
> I typed out a similar response to yours (although my language was less
> restrained... congratulations on keeping your cool) but deleted it before
> sending. The reason being that when this topic reared its ugly head over
> sci.cognitive a couple of years ago, the newsgroup became flooded with
> diatribes and (understandably) angry responses to them. This went on for
> months on end, and that newsgroup has never fully recovered. Even well-
> constructed and reasoned posts can fan the heat of a flame war.
> However you are 100% right that such pernicious nonsense should be
> vigorously opposed by scientists. The original post in this thread was a
> transparent attempt to hijack scientific discourse in order to give
> credibility to baseless racist "theories" (I use the term loosely). It is
> clear that the writer knows next to nothing about neuroscience: many of
> statements are hopeless over-simplifications, some are just plain lies.
It is
> important that those of us in the "trade" point this out whenever this
> rubbish is paraded as "scientific fact".
> Nick Medford
> In article <kAlK5.8$zr1.10524 at typhoon.mw.mediaone.net>, Richard
> Norman <rsnorman at mediaone.net> writes
> >"Xuxa Thorson" <Xoxana at webtv.net> wrote in message
> >news:6622-39F99CFD-14 at storefull-161.iap.bryant.webtv.net...
> >
> >I refuse to include the text of this message in my reply because
> >I believe it to be offensive and racist.  I do not know how else to
> >interpret a message that claims that "The main difference
> >between a human brain and that of other animals is the prefrontal
> >cortex. Most mammals have little or no prefrontal cortex." and then
> > two sentences later "It has been said that the prefrontal cortex is
> >what makes us "human" only to follow a few sentences later with
> >"The largest difference between Caucasian and Negroid brains
> >is that Caucasians have a much larger and better developed
> >prefrontal cortex."  The clear assumption intended from this is
> >that "Negroids" (whatever that may mean) are not really human or,
> >perhaps, a type of human but clearly "lower" than "Caucasians"
> >(whatever that may mean).
> >
> >I, a rapidly aging white male, am one of the "Liberals [who] make
> >the false claim that there is no correlation between intelligence
> >or behavior and the size or condition of the brain. "
> >
> >There is so much wrong with this posting it is hard to know where
> >to begin.   It certainly won't be enough simply to repeat that there
> >is no such thing as a biological "race" in the human population,
> >that what we call the african- asian- or european- groups of peoples
> >differ more within groups that between groups.  It may be clear that
> >humans differ from other mammals, but I dispute your argument about
> >"Negroid" brains as well as your claims about the relation between
> >brain condition and "intelligence".  There certainly is some relation
> >but the acquired, learned, cultural aspects of intelligence are so
> >predominant as to virtually blot out any biological aspect.
> >
> >I also believe that it is not enough to simply ignore or overlook
> >racist propaganda.  It must be vigorously denied and opposed.
> >
> >
> >
> >

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