We’ve got a lot of 30-something males still living at home with mommy and daddy today. They don’t work and aren’t married and basically all they do is sit in the basement playing video games endlessly or engaging in some other recreational activity that one would expect to see a teenage boy doing. It’s as if these young men aren’t really men at all. Well….that is…mentally. They have the bodies of grown men but they have the minds of teenage boys and although they are sexually and physically mature they seem to still act like teen boys depending on their parents or grandparents (or someone else) to pay all of the bills, provide a roof over their heads, and supply massive amounts of food. This is a growing problem in America today especially among white males and although most are in their late 20s or early 30s there are growing numbers that are in their early to mid-40s!
There is a word for this “phenomena” and it is “Neoteny.” Neoteny refers to individual organisms who remain child-like even after they’ve reached sexual maturity. Although physically adults, mentally they retain their child-like mentality. These guys have the bodies of men but the minds and emotions of adolescents. “Children in adult bodies” is a good basic definition of Neoteny.
Biologically, an organism becomes sexually mature and an adult when it is capable of reproducing. When it enters into adulthood, then, the organism becomes physically mature. Human evolution has produced a variety of genetic changes in our species and one of the MOST IMPORTANT is neoteny. Humans are the most neotenic of all primates, in fact! Some have even gone so far as to characterize humans as “sexually mature fetuses.” And there are some reasons for this. For example, in most quadrupedal fetal animals the foramen magnum (where the spinal column connects to the brain) is near the center of the base of the skull as it is in modern humans. BUT, as that animal matures the foramen magnum moves to the rear of the skull. However, this doesn’t happen in modern humans! Our foramen magnum stays in the center….in the INFANT position!! Even in apes the young lose their neotenic features as they grow up and there are big changes in the way they look physically and act mentally. This is obvious in chimps, for example, as infants and the young look far different from adults. And they act far different from adults too. But, the position of the foramen magnum is not the only feature seen in modern humans that causes some researchers to characterize modern humans as “sexually mature fetuses.” Continue Reading
A few new studies appear today that I find highly interesting. The first concerns a study from the University of Toronto that shows too much structured knowledge hurts creativity and, frankly, I couldn’t agree more. Of course structure helps us organize our activities throughout the day and it helps us to understand the world around us BUT it can also kill creativity! Structure tends to box us in and we might want to try thinking “out of the box” more. This leads me back to “everything in moderation” as it appears from the finds of this study too much of a good thing (structure) is not good when it comes to creativity. I’ve seen this over and over again. We are indoctrinated in our education and tend to then wear blinders as if we are looking through a tunnel (tunnel vision). We can see what’s in the tunnel before us but not what is on the sides of the tunnel. This increase in structure explains why creativity has gone down in modern society and education today. You’ll find the study results at the link below.
Another study focuses on aging and DNA repair. This study comes from the Harvard Medical School. They found that as we age the body has a harder time repairing DNA which causes cell demise (body degeneration) and greater susceptibility to cancers and other diseases. This study also shows that treatment with the NAD precursor NMN mitigates age-related DNA damage and “wards off DNA damage from radiation exposure. This study is significant because it helps us understand the aging process better and may help us come up with better anti-aging strategies or at least help us battle age-related diseases.
The final study comes from John Hopkins Medical School. This study found that most cancer mutations are due to random DNA copying errors. They found that at least 2/3 of these mutations cause cancers. Each times a cell divides and copies its DNA it produces two new cells and sometimes it makes several mistakes. These copy mistakes foster cancer mutations that science has underestimated in the past. Of course, environmental factors such as smoking also cause cancers but researchers have mostly been at a loss to explain why people who don’t smoke and seem to do everything right still get cancer. These DNA copy mistakes could very well be the reason! The bad news to all this is that even in people who do everything right and still get cancer it seems there is no stopping it as it is caused by these DNA copy errors. More research is needed into this and as soon as possible I’d say! Hmmm….let me guess….we’ll blame it on our Neanderthal bad genes???? 🙂
Creativity Study: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170322152736.htm
DNA and Aging Study: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170323150518.htm
Cancer Study: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170323141403.htm