From: email@example.com (David Palmer)
Subject: Re: Smart Dinosaurs (It was Re: Satellite Hypothesis for finding alien
Date: Mon, 27 Apr 1998 22:04:17 -0400
In article <01bd7159$5d393460$LocalHost@mario>, "del Rio Bros"
> firstname.lastname@example.org escribiÛ en artÌculo
> > Judging by the fossil record, none of the dinosaurs had big enough
> > brains to be as smart as modern birds (at least not the smarter
> > birds).
> That's right. Today, "intelligence" is measured by "encephalization
> index", that is, relations between theoretical brain weight and real brain
> weight. For example, real brain weight for Homo sapiens is 7 times bigger
> that theoretical brain weight (that is, the weight we'd expect to find for
> a mammal with man size and mass). It seems to be that H. sapiens is the
> most "encephalized" animal. Who's next? Dolphins, of course (4 times).
> Well, that's the way to know if there were smart dinosaurs. I
> don't know any dinosaur fossil whose real brain weight was quite bigger
> than its theoretical one, but maybe we'll find it. I'd like it.
There are people of above-average intelligence walking around with less
than 10% of a normal person's brain mass. They are hydrocephalics, with
the interior of the brain, which would ordinarily be white matter, filled
with cerebro-spinal fluid. They are totally unimpaired, and were only
discovered in the 70's with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (NMR) or CAT scans.
(There was a NOVA about this titled 'Is the brain really necessary'.)
I don't know what evolutionary disadvantage this has that prevents
everybody from doing it--keeping all their smarts while shrinking their
heads to make it easier on their mothers. Perhaps it gives a significant
loss in redundancy.
But somebody with a dinosaur's-sized brain might be smarter than the
David Palmer email@example.com