Posted by: zyxo | November 28, 2008

Web-surfing is braintraining

Lamarck, late in life.Image via WikipediaDr Gary Small, a professor at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, thinks he has discovered something spectacular : in web-experienced middle-aged and older adults, surfing the web triggers key centers in the brain related to decision-making and complex reasoning. So surfing the web is some sort of braintraining. (source: hospitalradiologyeurope)

So far so good.

But now it comes : Small told Reuters: “We’re seeing an evolutionary change. The people in the next generation who are really going to have the edge are the ones who master the technological skills and also face-to-face skills. They will know when the best response to an e-mail or instant message is to talk rather than sit and continue to e-mail“. (source : computerweekly)

What is this all about ?
First : it is interesting to see that training enhances skills. Every sportsman knows that. Ask Kaka or Cristiano Ronaldo how much they trained during their lives to come where they stand now.
Is is no surprise that brain-related activities like web-surfing enhance the brain skills.
But what does this have to do with evolution ? Will web-savvy people have more offspring, and hence be better represented in the next generation? I doubt it.
Perhaps Gary Small is a good neuroscientist, but he does not understand the very basics of evolution !
Unless of cause Lamarck was right and Darwin was wrong ?

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