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Marketing is not Monkey Business

by Doc Halliday, Strategic Imagineer, Twin Creek Media 

Marketers must seek out new knowledge from outside their own brain in order to increase their intelligence" Did you know it's the only thing different between us and a monkey? Chimpanzees are very similar to humans. Their genomes are about 97% identical to ours.  How, then, can so few genetic differences account for our language-using, cathedral-building, opera-writing and computer-inventing? If you hold to the theory of evolution, scientists may have taken a big step toward solving that mystery.  

In the Nature Journal, they report the discovery of the first genetic difference between humans and chimps that produces a clear functional difference. And it seems that this mutation occurred at roughly the same time that humanlike traits first appeared in the fossil record.  Yet the gene has nothing to do with intelligence or other traits, at least not directly. Within a handful of genetic differences between humans and chimps, they found that a non-mutated version of MYH16 (a gene that affects muscle proteins) gives non-human primates huge jaw muscles, whereas the mutated MYH16 gene keeps humans from making this jaw-muscle protein, and so we have smaller jaws. The larger the muscle, the more bone is required to anchor it.  

As a result, gorillas with big jaw muscles also have extra bone on top of their skulls that prevents the cranium to grow.  But in humans who don't need extra skull bone the skull keeps growing.  And so does the brain inside it. "Something going on outside the brain turns out to have a very important impact on what's going on inside it," says Dr. Hansell Stedman of the University of Pennsylvania. 

Source: The Wall Street Journal's Science Journal, March 26, 2004, It seems that understanding others and being committed to ongoing learning is a sure way to grow our intelligence!