There have been many theories about what exactly caused our brains to get bigger and advance beyond our greater ape relatives, but one scientist thinks that it wasn’t random evolution at, but a product of our own ingenuity. Timothy Taylor of Bradley University has proposed that the ancient invention of the baby sling allowed for longer gestation and allowing for a longer, slower maturation of the brain.
“In effect, kangaroo-style, early female human ancestors became marsupial, carrying their immature youngsters outside their wombs,” said Dr Taylor, who has published his research in a book called The Artificial Ape .
“The invention of the baby sling, which allowed more babies to successfully mature outside the female body, instantly removed the barrier to increased head and brain size.” Before the invention of the baby sling, dated by Dr Taylor to at least 2.2 million years ago, when human ancestor head size suddenly began to increase, physically mature infants were more likely to survive, because caring for slower-developing immature ones was difficult, uneconomic and often dangerous. Mothers holding their infants were more vulnerable to attack from predators or other humans than those using baby slings. They were also less able to perform other more economically productive tasks.
I’m sure that baby slings could have helped in the growth of the brain, but there obviously had to have already been something set in motion to be able to come up with the invention of the baby sling to begin with. Just saying.