Re: Australia and brains...

Jim Foley (
3 Oct 1995 16:38:18 GMT

In article <>,
Ralph L Holloway <> wrote:

>Jim Foley asked for some refs on the Australian Aboriginal brain weight.
>The most recent reference I know of is: Klekamp et al, 1987. A
>quantitative study of Australian Aboriginal and Caucasian brains. J.

> Harry Erwin's ap"apology" isn't really necessary as in fact, some of
>the older Australian Aboriginal women do have low brain weights, but the
>value of 750 ml is rare. I have seen it, however.

Thanks for the reference. I assume that in old people the brain is
smaller than in young adults, and that the smallest brains in any
population will therefore belong to old women.

I have read one source, by Stephen Molnar, "Races, Types and Human
Variation", which states that there are "many" people in the 700-800
range. "Many" is of course a vague term: if there were thousands of
such people worldwide, it might be "many" in an absolute sense, but they
would still be a vanishingly small percentage of the population.

Molnar unfortunately provides no documentation of his claim. Most
sources list the lower human range in the 800-900 area, but if Ralph
says some are as low as 750 cc, then I accept that.

Part of the problem is that defining a "normal" range depends on how
many people you want to include. Should it be 99%, 99.99%, or 99.9999%?
How far into the tail of the bell curve do people have to be before they
are "out of the normal range"? Are people who are 3' and 8' feet tall
still "normal"? What about a brain size of 800 cc?

Jim (Chris) Foley,
Assoc. Prof. of Omphalic Envy Research interest:
Department of Anthropology Primitive hominids
University of Ediacara (Australopithecus creationistii)