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Mon, Sep 12

Why are babies so dumb?

As a species, humans are incredibly smart. We tell stories, create magnificent art and astounding technology, build cities, and explore space. We haven’t been around nearly as long as many other species, but in many respects we’ve accomplished more than any have before us. We eat them and they don’t eat us. We even run scientific studies on them—and are thinking about re-creating some of those that have gone extinct. But our intelligence comes with a curious caveat: our babies are among the dumbest—or, rather, the most helpless—that exist. A baby giraffe can stand within an hour of birth, and can even potentially flee predators on its first day of life. A monkey can grasp its mother and hang on for protection and nourishment. A human infant can’t even hold up its own head.

Read more from The New Yorker.


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