Why Brain Size Matters
If bigger really is better, why are large brains rare in nature? Brain cells have huge appetites, and the trade-off for a huge head is a weaker body.
In 1758 the Swedish taxonomist Carolus Linnaeus dubbed our species Homo sapiens, Latin for “wise man.” It’s a matter of open debate whether we actually live up to that moniker. If Linnaeus had wanted to stand on more solid ground, he could instead have called us Homo megalencephalus: “man with a giant brain.”
Regardless of how wisely we may use our brains, there’s no disputing that they are extraordinarily big. The average human’s weighs in at about thre...
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