The Evolution of Human Childbirth

Check out this well-written article on Science about the evolution of human childbirth.

Don’t be turned off by that introduction…it’s really a very interesting article that quotes University of Delaware professor and paleoanthropologist Karen Rosenberg.  The article discusses how childbirth changed when humans became bipedal (walking on two vs four legs) by changing the diameters of the pelvis.  The article also highlights why it is so important for women to be attended by significantly supportive people–particularly other women–during their passage through labor and birth (enter the role of the modern-day doula).  Lastly, the article touches on the topic that is so near and dear to my heart: women going on to support each other in their endeavors through motherhood.

Read the article.  Chew on it.  Let me know what you think…



Filed under Childbirth Issues

13 responses to “The Evolution of Human Childbirth

  1. Shelly

    Humans walked on all fours? Missed that in the story of Adam and Eve. Obviously written by an atheist.

  2. Shelly,

    Actually, there are plenty of Christians who also believe in the evidence of evolution. Who’s to say God didn’t create us as quadripedal creatures first who gradually evolved into bipedal, upright walking people? Our concept of people beginning with Adam and Eve starts there because that’s as far back as one particular person chose to record oral tradition.

  3. Shelly

    Actually it starts there because the Bible states God created Adam in his own image and placed him in the Garden of Eden. I am not going to enter into a debate on religion because that is a never ending debate of defending one’s personal beliefs. However, I do not know any true Christians who would think humans were quadripeds. However it sounds like you may be what I refer to as a semi-christian which embraces science and religion, picking only parts of each to fulfill your emotional needs. Personally I think religion is simply humans preverted way of dealing with our shortfalls such as rage, hate and fear of death. There have been more murders and torture committed in the name of religion in our world than all other “reasons” combined! Since the dawn of man humans kill in the name of religion. I find it fascinating that people who believe in a loving, forgiving God, are the same people who do not love or forgive at all and will kill you in the name of their God if you will not accept their God. The hippies really had the answer…make love not war.

    • My guess is, there are probably a lot of hippies out there who would consider themselves universalists (not “semi-Christians”–a cop-out term, at best) in that they believe both sides of the evidential divide: creationism and evolution. Why isn’t there room for the possibility of both?

  4. Karen Parks

    Exactly! Must things be black and white…are there only two possible explanations? Is it possible that there are many things that we human beings just simply can’t understand? I find it frustrating when some people impose their narrow view of Christianity on others and assume that if someone does not believe exactly what they believe then that person cannot be a Christian. I am a Christian who also believes in evolution. I don’t think that Christianity demands that one turn their back on scientific truths. I think that there is room within Christianity for some open mindedness.

  5. Shelly

    If only it were that simple… Heres another cop out term I like: Religion kills. Saw it on a tee shirt and couldn’t agree more.

  6. Karen Parks

    Could it be man’s perception of religion that causes the violence? Most of the great religions of the world have many common threads running through them, perhaps the most common is what we know as the golden rule…do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Anyone following that rather than arguing over varied interpretations of the Bible, Koran, or any other religous teaching would not be killing in order to promote their chosen religion.

  7. Shelly

    No, its not mans perception. Humans are the most vicious and destructive creatures on the earth. Humans are the only creatures that kill for sport or for revenge or in anger. We dream up ways to torture and hurt other creatures that are beyond comprehension. And we purposely destroy our own environment. When we have destroyed our planet and take our final drink of toxic water we will still not realize our own stupidity.

  8. Karen Parks

    What a sad outlook on life!

  9. @ Karen and Shelly:

    Great debate going on here. Shelly, while I think you have some valid points:

    “Humans are the only creatures that kill for sport or for revenge or in anger. We dream up ways to torture and hurt other creatures that are beyond comprehension. And we purposely destroy our own environment,” I don’t think these things are always done because of religion. Like Karen was getting at, I think these things are sometimes done in the name of a ravaged interpretation of religion (slightly different than “perception of religion”).

    Living in Montana, I can all-too-well relate to the concept of hunting for sport–not because I endorse it, but because it’s all around me. There certainly are a whole host of grievous practices human kind, in general, has adopted over the milenia–The Holocost, the crusades, the debasing of Native American culture and sequestering native populations to hell-hole reservations, destruction of our global ecosystem…being some of them. But rather than predict a tragic end (that “final drink of toxic water”) is it not possible that, using scientific evidence and ingenuity, we can halt and even reverse much of the damage done? Is it not possible for us as human beings to use our ever-evolving brains for a little good? (As a full-fledged Christian, I just had to do it…bring the evolution thing back in again!) As a mother, for the sake of my children and theirs…I’d sure like to think so.

  10. Shelly

    We can use our brains to halt the environmental damage but we won’t. If it was just America and Europe.. maybe. But the third world wants money and power at any cost. China has no problem dumping raw toxic waste into the air (it is drifting over in the jet stream and Chinese factory pollution is now found in the snow in Glacier Park. ) and water. The mighty Yellow River in China is dead and void of life. All to secure more money and power. And Karen I do separate having a positive daily outlook on life from the probable outcome for our grand children. But I will submit if you have evidence to prove my theories wrong please do share. And Kimmelin, humans were never quadrupeds. We were just great apes that were genetically altered by the Aliens who came to earth 4000 years ago. 🙂

  11. Ah! The aliens! YES! I totally forgot about the aliens! I’m so glad you brought them up in this fantastically roving debate! 🙂 (there’s a theory out there for everyone, right?)

    I would never presume to argue over China, the Yellow River, etc. Those are completely valid points.

    Yesterday, my husband told me of two new sources of energy that have (relatively) recently been deployed:

    In Australia (the biggest cold-burning-for-energy country per capita) they have set up an enormous glass plate with a central hole in it, in the middle of the desert. Apparently the heat (hot wind, really) generated by the glass is funneled into a column and captured for energy use.

    In New York City’s Hudson Bay, gigantic underwater turbines are being placed–capturing the energy of the currents and funneling that energy to thousands of nearby businesses and households.

    These, I would like to think, are examples of what humans (Americans or otherwise) have the capability to do, in the name of changing our externalization on the land.

    Places like China aren’t likely to invest in these types of solutions on their own, but political pressure (sanctions and such) can exact amazing changes. If I had my druthers, I’d rather see a utopian approach to this problem but, if need be, political approaches can work too.

  12. Kathryn Yusuf

    Hmm i hope you don’t get annoyed with this question, but how much does a blog like yours earn?

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