X-Message-Number: 27552
References: <>
From: David Stodolsky <>
Subject: Re: substitute cryonics for "internal combustion engine"
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2006 14:14:56 +0100

On 30 Jan 2006, at 01:29, Doug Skrecky wrote:

> [I'm wondering if perhaps it was a lack of brain power which  
> delayed the
> invention of technology, homo sapiens has been around for over 100,000
> years, yet the internal combustion engine is only a few centuries  
> old.]

> They looked at 30 skulls dating from the mid-14th Century. They had  
> come
> from the unlucky victims of the plague. The skulls had been excavated
> from plague pits in the 1980s in London.

This is a biased sample. Lower nutritional status would yield high  
death rates to disease.

There was a major improvement in nutritional status of the British  
population as a whole in the 1700's. Social reforms also eliminated  
extreme poverty and sanitary engineering reduced the load of  
parasites since then, both resulted in improved nutritional status  
and therefore better growth and development.

There is some evidence of evolution of humans in modern times, but it  
is minor. For example, lower age of puberty in females seems to be  
selected for these days.

Technological development is a part of cultural evolution. It is  
likely that attitudes of the Greeks toward work - that it was the  
duty of slaves - contributed to the delay in, for example,  
application of steam power. Progress in  physical evolution is so  
slow that cultural evolution is the overwhelmingly likely explanation  
for changes in the last 10,000 years.


David Stodolsky    Skype: davidstodolsky

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