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I've been watching a TV series on DVD called "Kyle XY." It's about an apparently 16 year old boy who wakes up in the woods naked and covered in pink goo, with the mind of an infant. But in the space of several days, he learns how to speak, read, write, and do math, among other things. Oh, and he has no belly button. His abilities are phenomenal; he gets an MRI done and his whole brain is lit up like a Christmas tree. He's the smartest human being in the world. He learns how to swim with just one lesson, can read and exactly remember binary code enough to reproduce an image he saw in raw binary, and he makes photo-quality pictures by tapping on paper with crayons. It is an awesome series, full of mystery and intrigue.

Spoiler alert!

But the real reason I'm posting about this is that, in the second season, we find out what Kyle is. We find out that Einstein speculated that he was so smart because he'd had more time in the womb than most people (14 months, according to Answers.com) and did experiments that failed. But some scientists, intrigued, continued the experiments in secret. They produced one person, Adam Bailen, who was in the womb for a long time as well (I forget how long he said), but longer than Einstein. The surrogate mother died, and Adam worked to make an artificial womb. Kyle was in an artificial womb for 16 years!

Now granted, this is fiction, but what if this "extra time in the womb" thing is legit? I'm rather clever and intelligent, and I was in the womb for more than 9 months. Not much more than 9 months, I don't remember the exact number, but more than 9 months. And Einstein, man! 14 months. Neato. I think in reality there would be a point of diminishing returns, but it's still an interesting concept.

What's especially interesting is, my Ah'Koi Bahnis species have a 12 month gestation period, and they all have special Gifts. But interestingly, I'd never heard of this hypothesis before today.

Crossposted from http://fayanora.dreamwidth.org


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 4th, 2011 07:19 am (UTC)
I was induced at 10 months, and born apparently premature.

However, gestation time is an estimate.

Many long gestations represent loss of one fetus and a second pregnancy.
Jan. 4th, 2011 07:22 am (UTC)
I was induced at 10 months, and born apparently premature.


However, gestation time is an estimate.
Many long gestations represent loss of one fetus and a second pregnancy.

Hmm... maybe socialization in the womb could have something to do with it. Wait, no... then twins and more would all be geniuses. *Ponders*
Jan. 5th, 2011 01:47 am (UTC)
I am (probably) a result of a lost fetus/second pregnancy combo, since I was supposedly born after 13 months.

My mother claimed to have been pregnant with a baby who died but did not fully miscarry, then take meds to cause the supposedly dead fetus to abort, then to feel movement and stop the meds. Who knows? She was crazy after all.

I do suspect some kind of genetic failure to cause labour at the right time though because both of my children were born late - one by several weeks and he very nearly died of fetal distress/malnutrition/dehydration/anoxia/seizure. The second was induced 2 days late.

Given these experiences, I don't see any huge benefits for an abnormally long gestation, but there are some enormous risks that expectant parents are not always told about.
Jan. 5th, 2011 03:29 am (UTC)
I wasn't breathing when I was born and the doctors never figured out why.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


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