How great is the human brain
Why do humans have the largest brain?
To make one thing clear, humans do not have the largest brain. The sperm whale has the largest brain at around 9.5 kilos. Since the cozy guy weighs a few pounds more, his brain makes up less than 0.1% of his body weight. The human brain, on the other hand, weighs only 1.4 kilos. But because humans only weigh around 50 to 150 kilos, the brain makes up over 1% of the body weight of most of us.
If we look at brain size in relation to body weight, then when it comes to brain size, humans are clearly ahead. Humans even beat their direct ancestors by far with this measurement method, a gorilla brain weighs just a little more than 0.5 kilos.
In his book
Stefan Merath: Debe done in will. Leadership for entrepreneurs
The Path to Self-Determination and Freedom asks Stefan Merath why humans have the largest brain and is so kind as to share the answer to this question with us.
Because we're just smarter, right?
The answer is not that simple. 😉 For a long time science believed that the size of the human brain was related to its ability to use tools. This assumption now belongs in the realm of legend and science assumes that we have such a large brain because we live in social groups of up to 150 people.
In order to function well in a social group, everyone depends on knowing their position in the group. In addition, it is useful to know some more in-depth information about each group member. So it's not only exciting to know that Anne has a peanut allergy, but also that Anne was once with Zohan and the two of them can't stand to death. Science assumes that we have such a heavy brain that we can memorize all this detailed information about the members of our group. This knowledge is extremely important for the survival of the individual group members, because without this knowledge Anne would run the risk of us poisoning her with peanuts because we could not remember this information.
Women have smaller brains than men
At first glance, the brain size explanation approach used by science seemed plausible to me, but then, while researching, I stumbled upon a spectrum article that shows that women have smaller brains than men. When I look around in my environment, it is mostly women who actively take care of maintaining social relationships with other people. If that's true with brain size and social groups, I wonder how science explains this contradiction.
For my part, I just pull back on body weight cheekily. Women usually weigh significantly less than men and therefore have larger brains than men in relation to their body weight. However, I do not know whether this explanatory approach will stand up to scientific scrutiny. If you are familiar with the topic, I would be happy if you share the real reason for the different brain sizes between women and men.
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