Re: Hominid Brain Size: Testosterone, DHEA, and Melatonin

James Howard (
Sun, 03 Nov 1996 17:55:01 GMT

James Howard responds:
What happened to parsimony? Why must a theory of evolution necessarily be
complex? (Albert Himoe) wrote:

>In article <55dtiu$>, James Howard
>( writes:

>Much concerning a theory which relates brain size, DHEA, testosterone
>and human evolution.

>Darwinians, myself included, will have a hard time taking this theory
>seriously. What is selected for directly is not hormone levels or
>brain size, but behavior. Any given behavior is likely to be
>influenced by many biochemical factors, not just a few as implied by
>Mr. Howard's argument.
> In particular, it is implausible that changes in brain size over a
>number of different hominid species can be attributed to the global
>effects of the same few hormones for a series of different hominids.
>Also any evolutionary increase in brain size is likely to be due to a
>selective pressure for some critical behaviors, which may be
>facilitated by the increase in the size to those parts of the brain
>which affect that behavior. The size of the brain is a very crude
>evolutionary measure.