Suzan Mazur: Philipp Khaitovich et al. think neoteny affects the grey matter of the human brain but not the white matter. I gather you agree, but you see the issue as one of bioenergetics, involving mitochondria. You say neoteny is inherent in development of human brain regions where high energy demands are required for cognitive and memory-related functions. Is that right?
Vladimir Skulachev: Yes. This is absolutely necessary for technical progress. By the way, I am now writing the next paper concerning the numerous common traits of humans and NMRs. It’s very strange but NMRs are much closer to humans with regard to several components of brain construction than to the mouse. This is a fact. I think it’s the brain construction that accounts for why they are both highly social and the pressure of natural selection rather small—-enabling technical progress in the case of humans, and for NMRs—-aristocratic social organization.
Suzan Mazur: But do you agree with Khaitovich that neoteny affects the grey matter but not the white matter of the human brain? More.
He does! Well then, the tree of life is a pig’s ear and all those lab mice … ) Aw, let’s not go there. Inhumane. Like Scarlett O’Hara, we will think about it tomorrow… for now, we live in strange times.
See also: What the fossils told us in their own words
Follow UD News at Twitter!