The wisdom in wisdom teeth

Today I visited the dentist.  While chatting with my lovely dental hygienist, the subject of wisdom teeth came up.  She mentioned that hers never erupted, and that this had saved her a lot of trouble.  She jokingly said that she was “more advanced”.  What she meant, of course, was that her jaw is too small to accommodate wisdom teeth and that this means she is further along the evolutionary path, that humans have taken, toward smaller jaws.

I’ve always suspected there are racial disparities when it comes to wisdom teeth; that blacks would have less trouble with them, due to their larger jaws, than whites or Asians.  In fact, I’ve even asked dentists about this – but have never gotten a straight answer.

In the “Complete Guide for Having Children with Perfect Teeth” (2007), Dr. Francis Glen and Dr. William Glen write (pg. 116):

Less than two percent of American Caucasians have normal shaped and normal spaced wisdom teeth.  A significant percentage of African-Americans do have both the jaw room and the proper shape for their third molars.  Therefore, almost all white teenagers should have their wisdom teeth removed and about half the African-Americans need them out.  Our experience with Oriental-Americans is limited but they seem to have the same problems with space and shape as do Caucasian-Americans.

This is yet another nail in the coffin of  the “race is a social construct” myth.  Any intelligent person, when confronted with the above fact, would be open to the possibility that there might be other (non-superficial) racial differences that society is loath to talk about.  Of course, the ability to accommodate wisdom teeth is not evidence, in and of itself, that blacks have a lower average intelligence than whites and Asians, but coupled with low test scores and high crime rates, it should help point in that direction.

I would have to agree with the hygienist; she is more advanced, and she is beautifully white.

About jewamongyou

I am a paleolibertarian Jew who is also a race-realist. My opinions are often out of the mainstream and often considered "odd" but are they incorrect? Feel free to set me right if you believe so!
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29 Responses to The wisdom in wisdom teeth

  1. Georgia Resident says:

    Can anyone answer why Caucasians (and probably East Asians) have smaller jaws in the first place? Presumably there is some evolutionary advantage to counteract the disadvantage from wisdom teeth-related problems.

    • jewamongyou says:

      Every organ has its cost. Every large organ has an even greater cost. Otherwise, we would all be 6′ 7″, have muscular frames, robust jaws, wings for flying, gills for breathing underwater and tongues that could shoot poison at our enemies.

      With a larger, more efficient, brain, more powerful physical features became less important – so they fell by the wayside due to their cost. Since sub-Saharan blacks didn’t develop as powerful brains as other populations, physical robustness retained its importance. The cooking of food may have caught on later in Africa so strong jaws would have been more important to chew food – but this is just a guess.

      • Insightful says:

        Humans cooked food well before they left Africa. And on top of that they couldn’t have left Africa without the ability to start a fire for warmth and to scare off predators..

    • I’m not sure that Africans had large jaws when we were all Africans. Maybe someone knows. Nature could have relied on tooth loss to make room for wisdom teeth. Meanwhile, a couple of migrations out of Africa by certain types of folks* led to new natural partitions between human populations. Africans kept competing for one another in an environment which didn’t favor winter survival abilities much – and did favor many other survival abilities. Eurasians were mixing with Neanderthals and surviving ice ages in small coöperative tribal groups while Africans were evolving in their own distinct ways. Pressures to increase jaw size (at least on one axis) may simply not have been as strong in Eurasia.

      But then again, are we sure Eurasians have smaller mouths? I wouldn’t be surprised if it is just that Eurasians have fat/tall molars and wide arches relative to moral-to-incisor dimension, while Africans have long molar-to-incisor dimensions and comparatively petite molars. What I am saying is that there are a lot of “specs” and “parts” here, we’re not looking at a simple difference of square-jawed blacks and tiny-mouthed Eurasians.

      * I imagine the people who wanted to leave Africa were the ones more comfortable facing unknown terrain than facing hostile neighbors. That is pure speculation; it squarely fits my impressions with Eurasians vis a vis blacks. So bias on may part is inevitable.

  2. jewamongyou says:

    Re: Insightful, I think you’re right. Do you have any other ideas as to the benefits of large jaws in Africans? Sexual selection perhaps…

    • Insightful says:

      “Large jaws” as you put it (prognathism is more apropos) in certain Sub-Saharan African populations like West Africans is a retention of the archaic features that all humans once shared. The better question would be why hasn’t prognathism been relaxed more in many West Africans as it has in other populations? (By the way, I’ve observed prognathism in Southeast Asians such as Thais (e.g. Tiger Woods’ mother), Filipinos, etc. so it’s not just West Africans.

      I could ask the question, why do Europeans have more pronounced brow ridges on average than West Africans? But seeing as that was once the norm for everyone, the better question would be why haven’t the prominent brow ridges of many Europeans become relaxed like that of many West Africans on average? The point is that these various archaic traits are spread across human populations (though distributed highly unevenly perhaps due to genetic drift).

      Another question, why are Europeans hairier on average than your average West African? The better question is why haven’t Europeans become as hairless as, say, a typical West African? It doesn’t mean Euros are less evolved or vice versa. Again, it’s just that some archaic traits are retained while at the same time others are relaxed. All humans are still evolving but there is no ‘race’ to a finish line.

      Finally, I just thought I would point out that slanted eyes and wide cheekbones are not solely the domain of East Asians although we identify them with such features as an understandable stereotype. Link below is an African who is not a san bushperson (we usually identify them as the Africans with Asiatic features) but rather a Nuba woman from Sudan.

      The above link to the picture just goes to show that traits we think are only found in certain populations (presumably East Asian in this case) turn out not to be the case. We all share the same ancestors and draw from a basic gene pool.

      • jewamongyou says:

        Yes, archaic traits are spread out – but there are far more archaic features among black Africans than among Europeans and Asians. European brow-ridges likely come from their partly Neanderthal heritage, the hair makes sense due to the cold. All of the differences you bring up reinforce the fact that race is not skin-deep.

      • a random user name says:

        In melee fighting, large jaws are an advantage. The more robust your jaw is, the harder it is to get knocked out. The harder it is to get knocked out, the harder it is to be killed while you are knocked out.

        Watch UFC and look at those who have “good chins”. All tend to have robust jaws.

    • Insightful says:

      jewamongyou: “European brow-ridges likely come from their partly Neanderthal heritage, the hair makes sense due to the cold.”

      I’m pretty certain that there were hominids in Africa that had enormous brow ridges, but that did not transfer down to today’s West Africans. As I said, all humans used to have prominent brow ridges. Also, Eskimos/Inuit aren’t nearly as hairy as Europeans (they don’t even have beards as such), yet, they live in colder climes. By the way, did you know that Neanderthals had prognathism beyond in modern human today?..

      • jewamongyou says:

        Your points are valid – and I should have mentioned them in my original post. I do appreciate intelligent debate from those who disagree, so please visit more often bless us with your opposing views!

        Prognathism has largely disappeared from European populations, but not the brow ridge. In Africa, the opposite is true. Apparently nobody knows why. What I should have made clear in my post was that this is yet one more archaic feature found among blacks, one that is largely overlooked. Adding it to the list, it becomes even more clear that blacks have more than their share of archaic traits – which wouldn’t mean much by itself, but when combined with their consistent low test scores and behavior, require some thinking outside the P.C. box.

  3. anonymous says:

    I’m sure many liberals are deep down, race realist, they just like the idea of positive eugenics for the unfortunate like sperm banks,one day embryo selection,etc etc. Yes welfare costs money but many whites live off taxpayer dime too and there are many ways it can be reformed. Plus cutting money for wars.

    I wish HBD blogs were more optimistic. China is doing extensive research into the genetics controlling IQ with Supercomputers that will speed up research into IQ genes.

    Steve Hsu from Information Processing even predicted within 5-10 years we;ll know a lot more. Optimistically, within a few decades we’ll be able to use embyro selection to help people from all populations raise their average IQ by 15 points. I don’t like how some race realists take delight in others misfortunes and wish people would focus more on how they can genuinely be helped(like economic incentives for poor low IQ women of all races to use high IQ sperm banks or embyro selection in the future)

    I’m a liberal progressive who reads articles and books on IQ like the bible btw. I don’t discuss it in public, but wish people weren’t squeamish about the genetic nature of IQ, new ways of helping the lower IQ could be brought about sooner if researchers in the West didn’t have to worry about losing their funding etc etc. This genetic nature of IQ should & can be discussed publicly without mentioning race though.

    • jewamongyou says:

      Yours is a good point. I can only speak for myself, but, living in the U.S. – and in a particularly leftist region – the reality I see day to day shapes the attitudes reflected in this blog; I feel like a fish swimming in an ocean of ignorance. Of course I do welcome good news from any corner and if you’re so inclined, I’d welcome optimistic (on-topic) posts from you. So here’s your chance to do something about the lack of optimism.

    • destructure says:

      This genetic nature of IQ should & can be discussed publicly without mentioning race though.

      It’s frequently mentioned on blogs but you may not have run across it due to your liberal progressive tendencies. The reason IQ is mentioned in connection with race usually isn’t to beat anyone up. It’s that any disparity of outcome between whites and non-whites is automatically dismissed as a result of discrimination. Therefore, disparities are used to beat whites up. Discussing intelligence is the only way to defend against it that I know of. I’m certainly open to suggestions.

    • countenance says:

      Anything which raises the average IQ of the world’s people or any subset of humanity can be nothing but good.

  4. Mrgreengenes says:

    Blacks need larger jaws because their chicken is often highly breaded and watermelons are large

  5. baaltanit says:

    Interesting article. I had no problem with mine, even though I had a small jaw. I guess my wisdom teeth were also smaller and more advanced. Lol. But seriously, this is interesting and makes sense.

  6. Interesting Connections says:

    I saw a bunch of photos of babies on the internet recently. They were mostly Caucasian with a few Chinese babies. The one common thing was how big their heads were compared to their bodies.

    Then I got to wondering why there were no African American babies among them.

  7. countenance says:

    So we can officially dismiss the wise tale that wisdom teeth have anything to do with wisdom. That’s the conclusion I draw from this article.

  8. Remnant says:

    There also seems to be evidence that the type of food we eat and the force taken to chew it have something to do with how wisdom teeth grow in.

    See this discussed at the following link:

  9. McGillicuddy says:

    “I’ve always suspected there are racial disparities when it comes to wisdom teeth; that blacks would have less trouble with them, due to their larger jaws, than whites or Asians. In fact, I’ve even asked dentists about this – but have never gotten a straight answer.”

    You’re like a modern-day Socrates, pestering anyone who will listen with the sort of uncomfortable questions that undermine the assumptions of society.

  10. destructure says:

    JAY writes, “Yes, archaic traits are spread out – but there are far more archaic features among black Africans than among Europeans and Asians”

    That’s the thesis of Erectus Walks Amongst Us. The whole volume is a gem but it summarizes some of the points in Chapter 16 – Primitive Traits.

    • jewamongyou says:

      Yes indeed. Erectus Walks Amongst Us is full of interesting facts. He does come across as rather extreme on some points – but this does not invalidate the information he presents.

  11. shaunantijihad says:

    What the hell is wrong with you? Are you trying to say teeth aren’t a social construct? Hehe…

  12. A rare cracker with beautiful teeth says:

    Small jaws and crowed teeth are evidence of genetic damage and/or malnutrition, not of your pinheaded concept of “evolution”.

  13. Someone who's not an idiot. says:

    “Of course, the ability to accommodate wisdom teeth is not evidence, in and of itself, that blacks have a lower average intelligence than whites and Asians, but coupled with low test scores and high crime rates, it should help point in that direction.”

    Right. . . because the fact that you’re convinced that wisdom teeth, lower test scores (quite possibly caused by the deplorable conditions in an educational system they can’t control), and high crime rates (which if analyzed in the whole, reveal that whites commit crime with more frequency, not to mention shoot up entire schools/movie theaters for reasons that hold absolutely no logic or benefit) point to a genetic lack of intelligence… (edited by jewamongyou).

    • jewamongyou says:

      If you want to debate me, do so without insults. The only part of your comment that had any content is the first part.

      You claim that test scores don’t necessarily imply lower intelligence because they might be caused by deplorable school conditions. I attended those deplorable schools in Inglewood, California. I experienced what went on and I saw those conditions with my own eyes. The facilities were fine. The books were fine. The teachers were fine. The problems were with the “students”. Far too many of them were violent and unwilling to learn. Those black kids considered me a genius, but this didn’t stop them from constantly threatening me.

      You claim that whites commit crime more frequently but you cite no evidence of this. On the contrary, all evidence indicates that blacks are far more prone to all types of crime. You cite the highly publicized shootings committed by whites. I agree this is a problem – but those shootings don’t amount to a drop in the ocean compared to black shootings. The media hides the vast scale of black crime. This is why you are unaware of it. Read for a few months and you’ll see how you’ve been deceived.

      • J Huizinga says:

        Has no one ever travelled to sub-Saharan Africa? Seeing the ‘achievements’ of the indigenous population is enough to settle any argument about relative intelligence of the world’s races.

  14. Pingback: Racial differences in eye problems | Jewamongyou's Blog

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