Saturday, March 24, 2007

Global warming advocate believes in head shrinking

The interesting part of this article is the description of a study that shows a correlation between skull size and higher latitudes. The author of the Wired article misinterprets the study to claim that thus global warming might shrink brain size. One hopes he's kidding.

The study might indicate that surviving in colder climates requires more brain power, thus smarter people lived longer than dumber people in more challenging environs. This is not the same as suggesting that cold climate caused bigger brains (killed smaller brains would be more accurate). Hence warmer climate would not cause smaller brains.

The author of this article demonstrates he might not have been one of the survivors in an icier era.

Worse, he demonstrates that the only way to promote his global warming theory is to attempt to ridicule its critics into silence rather than to present convincing evidence to the contrary. This is not science, but scaring people into believing pseudo-science is not about science. It's about controlling other people.

2 comments:

Simon said...

Amen to that!

The size of brain is probably not linked to intelligence, but possibly to the amount of insulation required to protect it from the cold. There are a large number of differing brain sizes in all species, none of which show any true correlation between sizes and intelligence.

Basically, this article is another one of those "Stupid American" articles. It tries to insinuate that "Global Warming" is making people less intelligent.

How much longer is this cooked up propaganda going to be placed ahead of proven scientific fact? Politics in the 21st century (Both Left and Right) appear only to exploit the gullible.

Perhaps "Global Warming" could be renamed "Global Subversion", or even "Global Mass-Hysteria".

milkchaser said...

Perhaps it's fair to say that brain size and intelligence do not correlate directly, but they are not completely unrelated. Whales apparently have brains many times the size of human brains, but have not demonstrated proportionate or even equal intelligence. However, it is fair to say that, comparing one species to another, hominids with bigger brains tend to outthink those with smaller brains.

It's also true, though, that some humans with exceptional brain deformity still show incredible intelligence, exceeding that of typical humans with intact brains.

So, as you imply, skull size is not a reliable predictor of the intelligence of the grey matter such skulls once contained. Hence, to extrapolate from global temperature to intelligence is quite silly.