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Dangerous Childbirth

Quadrunner
Posts: 1,125
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4/7/2016 4:46:08 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
If read that childbirth is more painful and dangerous in humans then most other mammals. Is that true? If so, why?
Wisdom is found where the wise seek it.
keithprosser
Posts: 2,016
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4/7/2016 5:38:55 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
The size of babies is near the very limit at which the mother can physically give birth. That is to say any larger and birth would not be merely painful - it would be impossible.

The reasons why babies are not born smaller is that it would mean giving birth to babies even less developed and more helpless than they are now. As it is, babies are born 'prematurely' and require years of careful nuturing outside the womb to make up for it Few - if any - comparable animals have babies as helpless as humans.

So if babies were any smaller they would be too under-developed to be viable and if they were any larger (and hence more devoped in utero) they wouldn't pass down the birth canal. It's just as you'd expect of an intelligent design - or possibly not!
keithprosser
Posts: 2,016
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4/7/2016 5:42:02 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
As it is, babies are born 'prematurely'
Just to clarify, I mean even normal, full-term babies are born in a relativey undeveloped state.
Axonly
Posts: 1,802
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4/7/2016 10:04:14 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/7/2016 4:46:08 PM, Quadrunner wrote:
If read that childbirth is more painful and dangerous in humans then most other mammals. Is that true? If so, why?

To keep it simple, human babies have large brain relative to their size, this causes er "Mechanical" difficulties in getting them out.
Meh!
keithprosser
Posts: 2,016
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4/7/2016 10:15:51 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
As a final clarification, the whole shebang is about prioritising the time available for in-utero brain development. Other species have other priorities and so do not face the same problems.
Sidewalker
Posts: 3,713
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4/7/2016 11:44:52 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/7/2016 4:46:08 PM, Quadrunner wrote:
If read that childbirth is more painful and dangerous in humans then most other mammals. Is that true? If so, why?

It's our large cranial size and the female's smaller obstetrical pelvic area that makes human childbirth so painful, difficult and more dangerous, Humans (and dolphins) have the largest brain to body ratio and there was an evolutionarily recent explosion of human brain growth most likely due to social, linguistic, and tool making evolutionary pressures which happened during the time that the female's bony birth-canal size was decreasing due to the transition to walking upright and bipedal locomotion. These opposing evolutionary trends are referred to as the "obstetrical dilemma".

Just to make people crazy I'd like to add that this is clearly mentioned in the Bible.

In Genesis it states that at some point in Mankind's development there was a change of mental state which is metaphorically referred to as Mankind "eating from the fruit of the tree of knowledge" and it states quite explicitly that this mental advancement directly resulted in painful childbirth.

There, now let the crazy posts begin.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater