Monday, March 07, 2005

302-304: Darwin in the Crib

Carl Zimmer describes evolutionary insights into crying and colic. Crying is a signal babies send to get attention. Babies in agricultural societies cry less after weaning, because people stop responding after the babies are weaned. In hunter/gatherer societies, the babies cry more after weaning. The lesson:

If colic follows this pattern, it is not a cause for collective Western guilt that we don't live as foragers. Instead, it's a call to understand the evolutionary roots of the behavior of our children--both for their well-being and our own sanity.