The university of life

Are children smarter than adults?

We all have been there, childhood. When we were still children we were in the middle of the important process of developmental biology. Indeed there are only two really important concepts in biology, development and evolution, often referred to as ontogeny and phylogeny by overly educated people.

When we were children it regularly occurred to us that adults in general, and our parents in particular, were quite stupid and dumb. They didn’t seem to understand anything.

To understand why this is we have to turn or eye on developmental biology. Development biologists discovered that there are two types of growth, isometric and allometric growth. During isometric growth all the body parts grow relatively with the same speed. Unfortunately nature played a dirty trick on the human species. We are burdened with an allometric growth pattern, not all body parts grow with the same speed. Our legs, arms and torso grow much faster than our head! This results in the phenomenon that babies and children have relatively bigger heads than adults. Other studies have shown by comparing body size, brain size and intelligence, that bigger brains and relatively smaller bodies usually means more intelligence. And with this we may conclude that children are also relatively smarter than adults. Yes, it was true; you were smarter than your parents once. No, it did not last.


Professor at the UOL

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