Comparative Anatomy and Physiology Brought Up to Date
T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S F O R
Intelligence, Evolution of the
Human Brain, and Diet
- Introduction: claims of the comparative "proofs"
- Human intelligence ignored or rationalized
- Brain size discounted
- Hidden, contradictory views on the value of intelligence
- Recent evolutionary research now emphasizes the interaction of diet and brain development
- "Expected" vs. actual brain size
- Kleiber's Law
- Brain and digestive system compete for limited share of metabolic energy budget
- A comparative anatomy analysis of primate brains
- Humans at top of primate scale
- Large gap between humans and great apes
- Brain enlargement disproportional
- Factors in encephalization: energy (metabolism) and diet
- Extensive energy required for brain growth
- Dietary quality is correlated with brain size
- Dietary shift beginning with Homo
- How dietary quality relates to the brain's share of total metabolic budget
- Dramatic changes in last 4 million years
- Human brain's metabolic budget significantly different from apes
- Human brain MR (metabolic rate) 3.5 times higher than apes
- Humans depart from normal dietary quality (DQ)/body-weight relationship
- The paradox: Where does the energy for the large human brain come from?
- The relationship of dietary quality and gut efficiency to brain size
- Fruitarian evolution: science fact or science fiction?
- Vague claims about an ancient frugivorous primate ancestor
- Crank science and logical fallacies used in support of claims of fruitarian evolution
- Fruitarian denial of physiological evolution/adaptation
- Analysis of the fruitarian claims
- Claim: Morphological evolution is "easy," physiological evolution is nearly impossible.
- Claim: The digestive system is extremely complex. For it to evolve in a mere 2.5 million years is simply not possible.
- Claim: (twisted quote) Expert opinion is that physiological evolution is highly unlikely.
- Claim: There is no convincing teleonomy proof that humans have adapted to a diet that includes meat!
- Claim: There are no examples of animals evolving backwards from a vegetarian to an omnivorous diet!
- Claim: If humans are adapted to eating meat, what exactly are those adaptations?
- Further evidence against the claims of fruitarian evolution
- Quadrupedal vs. bipedal adaptations and tree-climbing/fruit-picking
- Actual fruit availability/dependability fluctuates with location and time
- Different adaptations, different tradeoffs
- Adaptations must be interpreted in context
- Body size and tree-climbing
- Fruitarian nutrition vs. brain evolution
- Vitamins, minerals, and fats
- Evolution/survival on pure fruit diets not possible in nature given fluctuations in fruit availability
- Synopsis and section summary
RETURN TO BEGINNING OF ARTICLE
SEE REFERENCE LIST
SEE TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR:
PART 1 PART 2 PART 3 PART 4 PART 5 PART 6 PART 7 PART 8 PART 9
GO TO PART 1 - Brief Overview: What is the Relevance of Comparative Anatomical and Physiological "Proofs"?
GO TO PART 2 - Looking at Ape Diets: Myths, Realities, and Rationalizations
GO TO PART 3 - The Fossil-Record Evidence about Human Diet
GO TO PART 4 - Intelligence, Evolution of the Human Brain, and Diet
GO TO PART 5 - Limitations on Comparative Dietary Proofs
GO TO PART 6 - What Comparative Anatomy Does and Doesn't Tell Us about Human Diet
GO TO PART 7 - Insights about Human Nutrition & Digestion from Comparative Physiology
GO TO PART 8 - Further Issues in the Debate over Omnivorous vs. Vegetarian Diets
GO TO PART 9 - Conclusions: The End, or The Beginning of a New Approach to Your Diet?
Back to Research-Based Appraisals of Alternative Diet Lore