Brain have gotten smaller the past 40,000 years:
I have eyesight limitations and so my first read of this thread’s title was “The Human Brain Has Been Getting Smaller Since the Stoner Age.” I thought it was referring to the 1960’s.
For me the piercing stench of pot is forever linked to my memories of the guy who lived in an adjacent room in my university dorm. He always lit up after this last class of the day.
As for the article, I found this highly questionable:
By inventing ways to store information externally — cave art, writing, digital media — humans were able to shed some brain bulk, according to one proposal.
Hmmm. What do you think? I realize that this wasn’t the only hypothesis considered by the author of the article. But does the ability to produce cave art significantly affect Homo sapiens survival to such a degree that the human brain could get smaller?
There’s a tendency for people to associate “brain” with “mind”, “thought” and “reason”. But the brain is also important for motor controls – for managing our physical interactions with the world. And civilization has reduced the diversity of those physical interactions. Perhaps that change already explains brain size changes.
It seems to be accurately described as “one proposal”, and not a very good one at that.