I’ve always wondered how dentistry worked in the old days. Or just health care in general. So like, with wisdom teeth, what did they do in primitive cultures? Just leave them in or deal with the excruciating pain? Or pull it out? How? Pliers? It just baffles me. I think I read somewhere that wisdom teeth is not a problem for some people, or that maybe it’s our advanced nutrition that makes it a problem. But whatever, I still want to know how they dealt with tooth issues in primitive days.

Or health issues. I dunno, I just look around me and the vast majority of the people I know have dealt with some kind of health issue that would have incapacitated them had they not fixed them. Like a couple people had testicular torsion. How did they deal with that in primitive times? Did they just have to grin and bear it? Or did they die? What? Or people that have torn ligaments or broken bones are whatever. Did they just heal funny? Were they able to hunt ever again? How did that work?

When I read the Bible it just amazes me that the characters ever reached adult age. Just, even a minor problem like wisdom teeth would have wiped me out. If I were a Bible character I’d be a guy who comes to Jesus to heal the excruciating chronic tooth pain he’s suffered since his teens.

I dunno, am I the only one who ever thinks about this? I remember once I went to boy scout camp and I had terrible chapped lips and there was basically nothing I could do about it, and it drove me mad. And that’s such an inconsequential malady. What did ancient cultures do? I think I read somewhere that the Japanese used to take the oil from behind their ears for their chapped lips. So I guess people had remedies for stuff. I just frequently wonder what those remedies were.

Anyway, I’m convinced that many (most?) people when they talk about evolution have no idea what they’re talking about. With wisdom teeth, they often say it’s a problem because our jaws have evolved smaller. Is that really true? Evolution involves the dominance of traits that offer a reproductive survival advantage. That’s the key to evolution. Things just don’t change among an entire species randomly, or at least, if it does, that process isn’t explained by evolution. It’s about a reproductive advantage.

How does having a smaller jaw offer a reproductive advantage? Could it be that there’s something else at work, again, maybe nutrition or something, that’s totally separate from evolution? I mean, would you say that NFL players are evolving bigger and faster? No, you’d say that they’re paying more attention to nutrition, exercise, and possibly steroids, so the physique of modern players is much different than that of players past. But it’s not evolution.

My point is, I think a lot of times people don’t understand really what evolution is about, so they say that if something changed it must have “evolved,” assuming that must be true instead of showing how the data fits in that framework. And it may very well be that there’s evidence that supports that smaller jaws is the result of evolution. The point is, many people don’t really know and when they talk about evolution, they have no idea what they’re talking about.

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