Paradoxically, on the drive home, my daughter informed me that the human race is getting smaller. My thoughts flew to attractive but diminutive male celebrities in the entertainment and motor racing circles, but of course, they could not possibly spread their DNA widely enough to affect statistics. Not on a global scale.
So, I posed the question to Google, "Are we getting shorter?"
Apparently, we are.
The Devastating Effects of Agriculture: We're Getting Shorter NOT Taller and Our Brains are Shrinking, So is Farming to Blame?People have got shorter and our brains have shrunk - and scientists believe farming could be to blame.
Modern humans are about 10 percent smaller and shorter than our hunter-gatherer ancestors, scientists have found, and our brains have fallen in size by the same proportion.
The entire article is worth reading, especially the suggestion:
Greg Wadley and Angus Martin, authors of Origins of Agriculture - Did Civilization Arise to Deliver a Fix? write the following: Recent discoveries of potentially psychoactive substances in certain agricultural products - cereals and milk - suggest an additional perspective on the adoption of agriculture and the behavioral changes ('civilisation') that followed it. In this paper we review the evidence for the drug-like properties of these foods, and then show how they can help to solve the biological puzzle just described...
I've never understood why it is considered normal and healthy to eat processed, preserved cereals with other unnatural additives, cooked to make them crunchy, then served in milk to make them soggy. No doubt, if I serve an alien breakfast on Earth, he will muse along similar lines.
The other appalling thought is that the CEO of PepsiCo apparently is determined that everything we eat and drink will be a Pepsi product.
One might be pardoned for concluding that we Westerners drug and poison our children with opioids and dopamines for breakfast, then drug them with pharmaceuticals when they can't concentrate.
If the introduction of farming might have been one of man's greatest mistakes ever (as http://www.sott.net/articles/show/229880 suggests, perhaps the invention of television (or at least, the tolerance of commercial advertising on television) may be another great error of collective judgment.
What do you eat for breakfast?