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Thread: Neoteny Study

  1. #1 Neoteny Study 
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    One thing that I've been thinking about recently is a study of how level of neoteny can affect intelligence level (among humans). I've noticed that many of my brightest friends and teachers look very young and often have well "eggheads". I'd like to conduct a study. How can I go about setting up a study?


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  3. #2  
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    I am afraid to say that this constitutes your first stage (ridicule) towards “enlightenment”.

    Apart from the mere anecdotal and testimonial evidence you here describe, what scientific evidence would support such a claim? Is this not more a reflection on what you perceive to be “intelligent” behaviour, performed by individuals in your enclosed vicinity, with whom you have formed emotional attachments, and to who you attach labels of “intelligent” based on their respective levels of “youthfulness”?
    Is it also possible that have an invariable propensity (possibly unconscious) to form alliances with individuals possessing youthful features, while minimising friendships with people without these characteristics, thereby further restricting your of view on what constitutes reality (reality in the world of intelligence assessment).

    However, it is generally well accepted that IQ scores (which is not a measurement of intelligence) tend to drop as age increases. And as people age, they also tend to lose their youthful features. Is that your correlation?

    As for the ridiculous claim—derived from the pseudoscience phrenology—that the prediction of personality traits and intelligence can be determined by analysing the shape of ones head has long ago been disproven.


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by dupont
    I am afraid to say that this constitutes your first stage (ridicule) towards “enlightenment”.

    Apart from the mere anecdotal and testimonial evidence you here describe, what scientific evidence would support such a claim? Is this not more a reflection on what you perceive to be “intelligent” behaviour, performed by individuals in your enclosed vicinity, with whom you have formed emotional attachments, and to who you attach labels of “intelligent” based on their respective levels of “youthfulness”?
    Is it also possible that have an invariable propensity (possibly unconscious) to form alliances with individuals possessing youthful features, while minimising friendships with people without these characteristics, thereby further restricting your of view on what constitutes reality (reality in the world of intelligence assessment).

    However, it is generally well accepted that IQ scores (which is not a measurement of intelligence) tend to drop as age increases. And as people age, they also tend to lose their youthful features. Is that your correlation?

    As for the ridiculous claim—derived from the pseudoscience phrenology—that the prediction of personality traits and intelligence can be determined by analysing the shape of ones head has long ago been disproven.
    Woah woah woah..calm down buddy. I'm way past an initial state of enlightenment. I have 5 years of school under my belt and have read many biology books. Simply because I chose to post a question about a simple premise doesn't make me simple. You are the one who's made a sophomoric mistake by claiming that I was speaking of phrenology and thereby assuming that I was a fool. I'm not talking about labeling brain areas in the haphazard manner of the past. I'm thinking that we could actually test my theory. I don't know exactly how which is why I posted this question. Besides, you probably meant craniometry anyway.

    wiki: "Phrenology, which focuses on personality and character, should be distinguished from craniometry, which is the study of skull size, weight and shape"

    And that still isn't exactly what I was talking about. We all know that we are neotenous apes...so what I'm getting at is that maybe those juvenile traits include a younger, more efficient brain and having the youthful energy required to study long tedious hours in people who retain youthful features into older age. Which would lead to a higher level of intelligence as compared to the general population.

    And yes, encephalization quotient (hence the egghead comment) might play a role as well.
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    I was thinking along the lines of finding genes which could create a neotenous effect so that we can create a race of people with huge EQ's and super intelligence. :P
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  6. #5  
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    Personally, I doubt you would find a connection. However, good science is based on ideas generating testable predictions, which get tested empirically. And sometimes a good test reveals unexpected results.

    You need to state your hypothesis is simple, clear and unambiguous terms. Then use your hypothesis to make a prediction that can be tested.

    For example : you may predict that, if you selected 1000 people of 30 years of age, and tested their IQ, and also carried out some objective test of youthful appearance, then the measure of IQ would correlate with the measure of youthfulness.

    The problem is measuring youthful appearance in a numerical and objective way. I am not sure I know exactly the best way to do this (measuring facial wrinkles?) but it may be that someone else can shed a little light.
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