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The human skull/jaw has been getting smaller, this is bad for our health

Trojita

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I found this interesting article on how the human skull has been shrinking, the issues this can bring, and the likely causes. I'm not a fan of how the journalist titled the article "Our Skulls Are Out-Evolving Us" since I feel this is likely to give people the perception that this is an evolutionary change based on genetic variation. I went and read some dental journals to get a better overall perception on this issue.

The beginning of the article is telling a story about a mother with a son with a host of developmental issues that the mother felt was due to his lack of sleep (he was snoring, restless, and had bags under his eyes). He was diagnosed with sleep apnea, had his tonsils and adenoids taken out, which helped a lot for a year but then the issues started again. Further professional assistance wasn't able to help which one day led the mother to google the issue. On the internet she found a community of researchers and doctors that point out evidence that shows the boy's issues are becoming increasingly commonplace.

Micah represents a perfect case study of an alarming trend in human development with far-reaching implications: over the last 250 years, our skulls have morphed in dangerous and troubling ways. The problem with Micah, they say, is his face.

Science suggests that crooked teeth, overbites, narrow jaws, and crimped nasal airways are a modern phenomenon.
Skeletal remains show that just 300 years ago, humans commonly displayed straight, perfectly aligned teeth, wide jaws, flat palates and the large nasal passages that signal habitual, healthy breathing.
By "modern" they are literally talking about only a few hundred years. That's right, crooked teeth hardly existed before that. Preserved skeletal remains confirm this.

So what is causing this? It's the food we are eating. Not in a nutritional sense, but the mechanism for how our jaw and the rest of our palate develops through the chewing of food. Researchers noticed there was an overall change in the human skull/jaw when going from a hunter/gatherer life to an agricultural one. A large change then occurred during the industrial revolution.

The large change since the start of the industrial revolution is due to changing habits on how children are fed as babies. It used to be that the child breastfed for a longer amount of time and then started being gradually fed harder food. With the hunter/gatherer lifestyle this was particularly exemplified when children had to slowly start eating hard to chew things like roots and tough meat. This arduous chewing would lead to increased muscle mass in the jaw. Since the industrial revolution children are less likely to be breastfed for a longer amount of time and milk/formula bottle is commonplace. The much larger end of the bottle nipple can malform the mouth in comparison to being breastfed. Then we transition from milk to feeding the child baby food that doesn't have to be chewed.



More recently, our faces have begun to deform. Today, our skulls are marked by high, narrow palates, short lower jaws and, often, insufficient space. When children drop their baby teeth, there’s typically inadequate room for the adult teeth, which leads to crowding and misaligned teeth. Worst of all, this anatomy encourages mouth-breathing, which can, in turn, lead to under-the-radar sleep difficulties and a whole array of problems ranging from behavioral challenges, anxiety, and depression to cognitive issues.
“What happened?” Boyd asked me and Monge, turning a mold over in his hands. “How could all of a sudden we develop crooked teeth and narrow jaws, and impacted nasal airways? That’s only recently happened, and it coincides with women going into the textile mills in the industrial revolution.”
Skeletal records show that for hundreds of thousands of years, people had beautiful skulls: straight teeth, wide jaws, forward faces, large airways. Robert Corruccini, an emeritus anthropology professor at Southern Illinois University, found perfectly straight teeth and wide jaws in children’s skulls from pre-Roman times among Etruscan remains in southern Italy.
Then, about 250 years ago, our faces began to change. Boyd argues that industrialization interrupted the ancestral patterns of weaning and feeding, with babies nursing on demand for years while also trying solid foods under adults’ watchful eyes. Boyd says that the widespread adoption of bottle feeding, pacifiers and soft processed food deprived toddlers of practice chewing and distorted the shapes of their mouths. (“In modern society you have Gerber’s baby food,” Corruccini told me. “Etruscan kids had to chew once they were getting off breast milk. Babies have remarkably powerful chewing capabilities.”)
 

SirKicksalot

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The virgin modern industrial vs the chad hunter-gatherer.

babies and toddlers who mouth-breathed, snored, and experienced apnea were more likely to demonstrate behavior problems at ages four and seven, including hyperactivity, poor conduct, peer problems, and emotional difficulties, based on analysis of more than 11,000 children
🤔
 

WhiskeyDiver

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It is a natural adaptation to our pending soy based future.

Testicles are next
Soy based future? No no no. We feed soy to the animals we eat. I will fuckin stab a bitch with my fork if they try to take my meat away.

Yes. Slaughter houses are cruel and inhumane most of the time. But then there's steak. It's like a form of equilibrium. Horrible treatment of foodnimals = delicious steak and other fine meats to fill my belly.
 
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Cybrwzrd

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It is a natural adaptation to our pending soy based future.

Testicles are next
Will become a vestigial organ. They will just start falling off.
 

BlueAlpaca

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What about the period between hunter-gatherer and modern-industrial, like 400 years ago? I'm sure kids then could eat soft food.

On a related note, I read once that some researchers (or one, I don't know) think people were smarter then they are now (victorians, ancient greeks, etc...). If this has any effect on intelligence it might be part of the puzzle.
 

iconmaster

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I read once that some researchers (or one, I don't know) think people were smarter then they are now (victorians, ancient greeks, etc...). If this has any effect on intelligence it might be part of the puzzle.
Better educated, certainly.
 

EightBit Man

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On a related note, I read once that some researchers (or one, I don't know) think people were smarter then they are now (victorians, ancient greeks, etc...). If this has any effect on intelligence it might be part of the puzzle.
Anthropologists today agree that hunter gatherers were as intelligent if not more so than so-called civilized human beings. That includes the Greeks, who were as pig ignorant as we are. And there's a reason why the golden age is always a reference to the past. By becoming civilized we have lost a well of knowledge of a lot of things. We became divided within and without, violent, repressed beings. But civilized man, and certainly modern man, prides himself on his ignorance. Philosophers like Thomas Hobbes would've liked us to believe that life before civilization was brutish and harsh, while in reality these were all projections and inaccurate observations of tribes who were already on the side of domestication and control.

Today he thinks he's more because he's become a technologically-obsessed entity, seeking desperately to dominate nature with all the terrible and worrisome results. Mankind has become severely autistic; cerebral, technological, and cold. There are people who'd rather spend time around machines, rather than in nature or with warm human beings. That's insane, and a recipe for disaster as we see happening all around us. As psychologist Erich Fromm said, modern man is necrophiliac (love of death or that which is not alive):

The world becomes a sum of lifeless artifacts; from synthetic food to synthetic organs, the whole man becomes part of the total machinery that he controls and is simultaneously controlled by. He has no plan, no goal for life, except doing what the logic of technique determines him to do. He aspires to make robots as one of the greatest achievements of his technical mind, and some specialists assure us that the robot will hardly be distinguished from living men. This achievement will not seem so astonishing when man himself is hardly distinguishable from a robot.
The world of life has become a world of “no-life”; persons have become “nonpersons,” a world of death. Death is no longer symbolically expressed by unpleasant-smelling feces or corpses. Its symbols are now clean, shining machines; men are not attracted to smelly toilets, but to structures of aluminum and glass. But the reality behind this antiseptic facade becomes increasingly visible. Man, in the name of progress, is transforming the world into a stinking and poisonous place (and this is not symbolic). He pollutes the air, the water, the soil, the animals—and himself. He is doing this to a degree that has made it doubtful whether the earth will still be livable within a hundred years from now.
 
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poppabk

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I’m going to say 70% bollocks maybe 60% if I’m being generous .
The breast feeding thing is likely bullshit, they should have plenty of data to support or reject that hypothesis, given that you have a decent percentage of people who do breast feed.
The chewing on tougher foods at a young age- maybe? Seems like this is all just post hoc fallacy though.
 

-Minsc-

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Interesting thoughts. Whether or not it's true, it gives me something to think about. For now I'm going to hold off accepting or dismissing the idea.
 

Sakura

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Eh, I don't buy this.
It is true that our jaws have gotten smaller compared to when we were hunter-gatherers. It's part of the reason wisdom teeth cause problems for so many people; there isn't room in our jaws for them. But it's not something that only started in the past 250 years. Even the Romans wrote about methods to straighten teeth, and had a crude form of "braces". Maybe it is true that it has become more common recently because of urbanization and the changes that brings to our life-styles, but it was definitely not something that hardly existed.
 
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EightBit Man

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Yet somehow this necrophilic modern human civilization enjoys the greatest health and wealth in recorded history.
Have you looked around? Suicides are skyrocketing among all age groups, record levels of drug abuse are the order of the day, poverty is becoming more and more widespread, and people are generally extremely unhappy. That people put a mask on every day, or want to pretend that everything's alright doesn't change people's interior; their dissatisfaction, stress, fear, dread, anger, their profound alienation from themselves and existence itself. These are not natural states, nor is the way people treat each other, normal...this competitiveness, this envy, or hatred. Sharing and being a part of a real community used to be the norm for the longest period of time. All we have is substitutes and "solutions" for what we have lost.

Wealth isn't measured by the things we have, but how vital we as human beings are. If we are hampered by external factors, if all we have is substitutes while living a crippled life, then it should be addressed instead of ignored I think.

Also, so-called primitives are infinitely healthier than we are. They live longer as well. All the known diseases are a by-product of civilization, believe it or not. As Jared Diamond wrote:
Tuberculosis and diarrheal disease had to await the rise of farming, measles and bubonic plague the appearance of large cities.
From Arnold DeVries' Primitive Man and His Food :
[...] primitive man lives in much better physical condition than does the usual member of civilized society. When his own nutrition is adequate and complete, as it often is, he maintains complete immunity to dental caries. His teeth are white and sparkling, with neither brushing nor cleansing agents used, and the dental arch is broad, with the teeth formed in perfect alignment. The facial and body development is also good. The face is finely formed, well-set and broad. The body is free from deformity and proportioned as beauty and symmetry would indicate desirable.
 
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Weilthain

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If you look at what they have done to dogs then I can see how this may be real.

I have a french bulldog and nothing about them makes sense yet they are still totally awesome, yet not meant to be? Some have health issues but mine is just fine thy are meant to be I take it back.
 
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SLoWMoTIoN

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If you look at what they have done to dogs then I can see how this may be real.

I have a french bulldog and nothing about them makes sense yet they are still totally awesome, yet not meant to be? Some have health issues but mine is just fine thy are meant to be I take it back.
French bulldogs are extremely inbred to the point you have to inseminate them to breed them. I know people that have em and they all have breathing/nose issues.
 

EightBit Man

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You have research data to back this up?
I don't have it at hand, sorry. I will refer to works of Stephen Boyden, Arthur Robson, and the already-mentioned Arnold DeVries.

People used to do coke in the 50s like it was no problem though.
Sure, but now it's one of the leading causes of death in the United States, which brought life expectancy down. And in England there's a similar phenomenon going on with the substance called Spice.

Also, there's the legal drugs, the taking of anti-depressants. Another something that increased astronomically over the years. Because we're all so fucking happy, right?
 
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Weilthain

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French bulldogs are extremely inbred to the point you have to inseminate them to breed them. I know people that have em and they all have breathing/nose issues.
Well mine is a little sweetie with no health issues so far.

I have a theory that because they are such lovely natured dogs, they put real dogs to shame so people shit on them out of jealousy yea I said it.
 
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SLoWMoTIoN

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Well mine is a little sweetie with no health issues so far.

I have a theory that because they are such lovely natured dogs, they put real dogs to shame so people shit on them it of jealousy yea I said it.
They are loud, snort, fart, dumb and shed like a motherfucker. They are very lovable and affectionate though. A french bulldog will have health problems regardless so just don't miss your bi-monthly veterinarian visit.
 
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The large change since the start of the industrial revolution is due to changing habits on how children are fed as babies. It used to be that the child breastfed for a longer amount of time and then started being gradually fed harder food. With the hunter/gatherer lifestyle this was particularly exemplified when children had to slowly start eating hard to chew things like roots and tough meat. This arduous chewing would lead to increased muscle mass in the jaw. Since the industrial revolution children are less likely to be breastfed for a longer amount of time and milk/formula bottle is commonplace. The much larger end of the bottle nipple can malform the mouth in comparison to being breastfed. Then we transition from milk to feeding the child baby food that doesn't have to be chewed.
So basically, the farther you go back in time, the longer a kid sucked their mom's tit.

I'll take a small modern day head thank you very much.
 

triplestation

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i guess we're eating softer foods

fuck you need large jaws for anymore when you're eating tender ass shit

when we were neanderthals we ate raw ass meat and that shit would take JAW ACTION to get through that shit

today that shit melts in your mouth



protein shakes are the modern food

going by that picture brain got smaller too lmaaaaaaaaaaa
 
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Oct 26, 2018
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i guess we're eating softer foods

fuck you need large jaws for anymore when you're eating tender ass shit

when we were neanderthals we ate raw ass meat and that shit would take JAW ACTION to get through that shit

today that shit melts in your mouth



protein shakes are the modern food

going by that picture brain got smaller too lmaaaaaaaaaaa
If that was shown to a caveman, I bet he'd try chewing the foil tray or tongs before the meat..... and his bite would probably break through it. lol