Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Proof positive #213 that I am highly advanced

One of the multitude of things that makes me genetically superior to the other mortals on this planet is the absence of the third molars, more commonly known as "wisdom teeth."

In actuality, they have no true connection with gaining wisdom or intelligence. They got their name because they usually erupt between the late teen years and young adulthood which has traditionally been called the "age of wisdom". For many people, when these teeth arise, they are often impacted or cause shifting problems and usually have to be surgically removed.



Ouch. I mean, just hearing the words "extraction" or "dry socket" makes me cringe. Well I feel FOR you anyway. Because I don't have any wisdom teeth.... none, no third molars at all.

Evolutionary superiority and all that.

You see, our early ancestors had a small brain cavity and a large, powerful jaw. Wisdom teeth evolved in early humans to help grind food to a texture that made it safe to swallow. The three molars created a large, effective chewing mechanism that suited the diet and lifestyle of ancient humans.



Over thousands of years, the cranial proportions changed. The growing human brain needed more space, so that space expanded while the jaws diminished accordingly. Early wo/man's diets changed and the need for the large chewing machine decreased as well, but the number of teeth in the normal human jaw has remained the same: 32.

Most scientists agree that due to evolution, wisdom teeth will soon be unique to our ancestors. Human beings are not a finished product and our bodies are slowly being modified to fit our current lifestyles.



Of course, there are individual exceptions - some people have fewer teeth, some have more, and extra molars are not an unusual feature. With further evolution, wisdom teeth may disappear altogether, but for now this vestige of prehistoric life is very much with many of us.

But not with me.

I've evolved further. That's just one more example.

2 Comments:

  • At 5:47 PM, Anonymous Zoda said…

    Very nicely put, and very nicely illustrated.

     
  • At 10:57 PM, Blogger WendyWings said…

    I never grew any wisdom teeth either. I concur with your article LOL.

     

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