A Writer’s Notebook X
Neoteny. The retention by adults within a species of traits previously seen only in juveniles.
We have a shifting perception of neoteny at the present time. It was traditionally seen as a sign of weakness, immaturity. Someone who had, for whatever reason, failed to grow up.
Humans have tinkered with the development of other species for millennia, it seemed attractive to freeze domestic dogs in the puppy stage, or to grow seedless fruits like watermelons.
But it is only in recent generations that we have begun to recognise that the open and inquisitive qualities of youth can be useful throughout the span of our entire life.