+13 votes
in General Factchecking by Journeyman (2.7k points)
This TikTok says that humans are going through a microevolution which is causing babies to be born with smaller and weaker jaws, causing no wisdom teeth to develop. Is this true?

15 Answers

+12 votes
by Novice (860 points)
selected by
 
Best answer
There is evidence to support the claim that humans are evolving smaller jaws, which can result in the absence of wisdom teeth in some individuals. According to a study by Alan Mann and Janet Monge, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America in 2015, "reduced size of the mandible has been documented for modern Homo sapiens relative to archaic and Middle Pleistocene hominins." (Mann & Monge, 2015, p. 10155). The authors note "the trend toward smaller mandibles is likely related to dietary and cultural changes that have reduced masticatory stresses" (Mann & Monge, 2015, p. 10155). Not all babies are born without wisdom teeth, and the development of wisdom teeth can vary among individuals due to genetics.

http://www.nasonline.org/news-and-multimedia/news/april-28-2015-NAS-Election.html
by Genius (41.9k points)
Good work providing a clear explanation and finding a reputable source. How would you rate the claim?  True based on your findings?
by Apprentice (1.2k points)
If I were you I would try to pull in more sources for information. I like that you used a credible source in the National Academy of Sciences. Your MLA quotations are perfect.
by Novice (920 points)
Citing a scientific article for this type of claim is undoubtedly the best way to fact-check it. Upon finding the scientific article, it does seem to support the claims made in the TikTok. Furthermore, I appreciate your qualified final statement as this is not an absolute phenomenon, but only seems to be found in a select number of babies.
by Novice (840 points)
I liked this fact check because including the study done is really valid and helpful as well as the professional siting of it. Although you did a good job, you forgot to include your rating. I would say overall this is a misleading comment mainly because the headline of "babies are being born without wisdom teeth" is way too generalized.
by Novice (700 points)
This post seemed very well thought-out and organized in supporting the evidence that supports the claim but also noting that while this can be the case, it also isn't true for every human. The answer is very clear for the site you used to fact-check and is very thorough!
by Apprentice (1.9k points)
I enjoyed this post and the scientific article that you found to support the claim. However, I would like to see more of a deep dive on the part of the claim that says, "humans are going through a microevolution which is causing babies to be born with smaller and weaker jaws". While it is true that babies are being born without wisdom teeth and that our jaws evolve, the study does not state if this evolution makes jaws weaker.  I would say this part of the claim isn't necessarily true because no research has shown that this makes our jaws weaker, they are just smaller. In that case I would call this claim misleading.
by Novice (770 points)
You did a great job of telling us about this topic and explaining why it is happening. The scientific article you linked with this claim gave a good understanding on this topic as a whole and why/who this is happening to
by Novice (720 points)
I think this is a very well done fact check. I like how in your answer you included some possible reasons for why babies could possibly starting to become born without wisdom teeth. The source you got this information from seems very reliable.My only addition would be to add maybe one or two more sources to further solidify the claim.
by Newbie (480 points)
I think this is a very well-spoken fact-check on this topic. Not only do you have solid evidence to back up your claim, but you seem to have a very good understanding on what you are arguing. Great job.
by Newbie (200 points)
Relying on a scientific article is the most effective method for fact-checking claims of this nature. When reviewing the scientific article, it appears to substantiate the assertions made in the TikTok video. Additionally, your nuanced final statement is valuable, highlighting that this phenomenon is not true but seems to be observed in a specific subset of babies.
+3 votes
by Apprentice (1.9k points)

An article from a dentistry website says that more and more babies are born without wisdom teeth. 

"As our faces are getting a lot shorter there is not as much room for teeth because of smaller jaws," from Gabby Bissett 

https://dentistry.co.uk/2020/10/14/babies-born-wisdom-teeth-microevolution/

True
by Genius (41.9k points)
Next time, you can specify the name of the source rather than say "a dentistry website" as your source. Overall, good job though.
by Novice (960 points)
Good job, however it would help with validity if you would possibly give more details on your source.
by Apprentice (1.1k points)
I think this is a good fact check, but I am wondering if you could go more in-depth with your analysis. Did you look at any other sources and how did you find this one? The article you found is a little vague, so I think it could be good to see an article with a more depth analysis as well.
by Novice (620 points)
Good work. I am wondering if it may be helpful to list more sources and further explore the claim. Maybe digging deeper and doing more research could help to make your factcheck more specific and accurate.
by Novice (720 points)
Good job on the fact check. Something to improve the validity of your comment would be to specify your source rather than simply stating "a dentistry website"
by Novice (910 points)
I feel like there could have been a bit more information conveyed here. I'm sure your source was good but maybe give some context apart from explaining the claim and linking to a source.
+3 votes
by Apprentice (1.1k points)

It is misleading to say that all babies are born without wisdom teeth. While there is some truth, it does not pertain to every baby. According to dentistry.co.uk, the microevolution is resulting in more babies being born without wisdom teeth. 

https://dentistry.co.uk/2020/10/14/babies-born-wisdom-teeth-microevolution/

Exaggerated/ Misleading
by Apprentice (1.1k points)
I agree, this claim can be considered misleading. There are many people who have been born without wisdom teeth in years past as well as containing to be born with wisdom teeth. It is true that humans are evolving with smaller jaws causing some to be born without wisdom teeth, but there is still a lot people born with wisdom teeth.
by Apprentice (1.3k points)
I agree that the claim can be considered misleading. It's incorrect to say "all babies" when, in the video, it just states that some babies are. Humans are evolving, but there are still people who have wisdom teeth.
by Novice (640 points)
I agree with your comment. It's misleading to say that suddenly every baby is being born without wisdom teeth. There has been an uptick in people being born without them, but that has been happening for years and is not new information.
+2 votes
by Novice (640 points)

This is true! Court Mann of Deseret News referenced a scholarly journal written by professors Teghan Lucas, Jaliya Kumaratilake, and Maciej Henneberg in a recent article, "A new study published in the Journal of Anatomy found that humans are increasingly being born without wisdom teeth." Lucas works as a professor at the University of New South Wales in the Department of Archeology. Kumaratilake and Henneberg both work as professors at the University of Adelaide in the Discipline of Anatomy and Pathology.

True
+1 vote
by Apprentice (1.1k points)

This is true! According to a new study done by the Journal of Anatomy, humans are evolving faster than they have in the past 250 years. In this small evolution, it has been confirmed that babies are being born without wisdom teeth and with shorter faces/smaller mouths. An article written by Dentistry Online states ‘This is happening in time as we have learnt to use fire and process foods more. A lot of people are just being born without wisdom teeth.’

https://dentistry.co.uk/2020/10/14/babies-born-wisdom-teeth-microevolution/

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/wisdom-teeth-evolution-humans-flinders-university-processed-food-b907634.html

True
0 votes
by Novice (620 points)
It is true. According to the article from Dentistry Online in UK, the human race is evolving at a rate faster than it has done at any interval in the last 250 years. Babies have smaller mouths and less room for teeth to grow.  Dr Teghan Lucas from Flinders University, Adelaide said it is due to part of natural selection and our increased ability to chew food.

https://dentistry.co.uk/2020/10/14/babies-born-wisdom-teeth-microevolution/

https://news.sky.com/story/human-microevolution-sees-more-people-born-without-wisdom-teeth-and-an-extra-artery-12099689
+1 vote
by Novice (740 points)

This is primarily true according to an article on Dentistry, by Dr. Teghan Lucas, from Flinders University, Australia, who said "our increased ability to chew our food is a key factor." Moreover, she stated "As our faces are getting a lot shorter there is not as much room for teeth because of smaller jaws,"

https://dentistry.co.uk/2020/10/14/babies-born-wisdom-teeth-microevolution/

True
+1 vote
by Novice (800 points)

This is true according to Paul Ehrlich, a professor at Stanford University, there is a jaw epidemic occurring where babies are born with smaller and weaker jaws. The article also says that smaller and weaker jaws lead to no wisdom teeth and more orthodontic and health issues. 

https://news.stanford.edu/2020/07/21/toll-shrinking-jaws-human-health/ 

+1 vote
by Apprentice (2.0k points)

This is a true statement. According to Miss Gabby Bisset from Dentistry Online, the human race is passing through a microevolution with babies being born without wisdom teeth as proof. 

New research has emerged from the Journal of Anatomy study that showed babies have shorter faces which in turn leads to smaller mouths/smaller jaws and less room for teeth. 

This source cites Dr.Teghan Lucas, from Flinders University, Australia. She explains, "‘We have advanced as a species to the point where natural selection no longer removes the outliers in the gene pool.", and that is how natural selection is influencing this microevolution. 

Source: https://dentistry.co.uk/2020/10/14/babies-born-wisdom-teeth-microevolution/

True
+2 votes
by Novice (760 points)

This claim is true.

This article says that humans are going through a "microevolution" as more babies are being born without wisdom teeth. A study done by the Journal of Anatomy found that human heads are getting shorter which is causing smaller jaws. Because of the smaller jaws, babies do now have enough room for wisdom teeth to form. 

https://dentistry.co.uk/2020/10/14/babies-born-wisdom-teeth-microevolution/

True
by Novice (790 points)
Good job on your fact check. The source you used is very reliable. You did a good job focusing on the information that was related to the claim.

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