Future and Past

I read an interesting article over breakfast about Homo Erectus, one of the ancestors of Homo Sapiens (i.e. humanity). Early in the 20th century two skulls (known as Java Man and Peking Man) were unearthed that were found to be made of very thick bone (much thicker than our skulls today). Various theories for this have been floated over the years (including the one positing that our ancestors were giants!), but this article had a new one: the species had thick skull protection because they beat each other routinely. They came to this conclusion by examining the many instances on the skulls of healed wounds caused by blunt force trauma. One of the skulls had ten such wounds. So basically, our ancestors beat each other in the head with clubs to such a degree that they developed thick skulls.

So, how will our current culture affect our descendents? Will the continued success of reality TV eliminate the “shame gene”? Will the American propensity for overeating lead to a more load-bearing skeleton? Will the use of botox lead to a new species born with paralyzed facial muscles? Ah, for but a glimpse of our heinous future…

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