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Wisdom Teeth

Discussion of everything related to the Theory of Evolution.

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Wisdom Teeth

Postby TheJP » Wed Mar 24, 2010 9:30 am

I've seen many people cite references that wisdom teeth are becoming less prevalent, and appeal to my "common knowledge" of evolution that they are a complete "waste of resources" (a somewhat Lamarckian claim - see appendix, coxxyc). I've questioned them a few times, as I don't foresee any real selective pressure in this day and age with modern medicine/dentistry removing any wisdom teeth that cause issue (at least in Western culture).

My research into this indicates that approximately 35% of people don't develop wisdom teeth at all or they are impacted (wrong direction / too crowded / whatever)... and I'm sure somewhere along the line a mutation led to lack of development of wisdom teeth, which gradually became more prevalent in the past due to infections/complications arising when they began to form - and lack of proper medical care and antibiotics may have led to death before reproduction.

So my question is: are wisdom teeth really going to be outbred? And if so, why?
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Postby JackBean » Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:40 am

IMHO in the past, when there was basically no care about teeth, people did lose some and thus molars, which came up later during life where quite useful, don't you think? However, nowadays we (people in developed countries) have perfect health care and thus they don't lose many teeth during life and thus the wisdom teeth don't have space, where to emerge.
But this is only my idea ;)
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Re:

Postby TheJP » Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:49 am

JackBean wrote:IMHO in the past, when there was basically no care about teeth, people did lose some and thus molars, which came up later during life where quite useful, don't you think? However, nowadays we (people in developed countries) have perfect health care and thus they don't lose many teeth during life and thus the wisdom teeth don't have space, where to emerge.
But this is only my idea ;)

That's my train of thought, exactly.

I was actually told that it was insulting for him to even hear my theory, followed by a list of books on evolution he'd read (the usual: dawkins & darwin)... and he didn't really like it when I mentioned that I was a bio major, and that if I were so smart, I should be published - whilst proceeding to devolve into calling me names!
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