Re: Waking up covered in dew

Paul Crowley (
Thu, 15 Aug 96 10:25:08 GMT

In article <> "Mark Brian Muller" writes:

> Why does there have to be a "gap" between the loss of hairiness and
> the adoption of clothing and/or blankets? Why couldn't hominids only
> become hairless as the began to use blankets at night, or, similarly,
> they began to use blankets as they lost their hair?

If there was no "gap" then there are two possibilities: (a) clothing/
blankets caused the loss of hair, and (b) hominids became naked for
some unknown reason and adopted clothing/blankets as a response.

The first is hardly worth discussing. The second dates the loss
of hair to very late in human evolution and is a most unsatisfactory
"explanation" because it provides no reasons for the nakedness.
Whatever they were, they must have been compelling - with powerful
selective advantages. Nakedness, subcutaneous fat and sweating
appear to be strongly linked and their joint adoption would imply
a whole new way of life. There is nothing in the fossil record
indicating this, neither in morphology, nor artifacts nor habitat.

Clothing/blankets would have become important "possessions" of
the hominid society, to be transported whenever the group moved.
Females, infants and young would have needed them, so a cohesive,
responsible, caring, almost certainly monogamous, society is
required. The ownership of blankets implies other possessions
as well. All this is fine for Hss, but questionable earlier.

All in all, I think that there has to be a "gap". I put it at
millions of years, but it could hardly have been less than many
hundreds of thousands of years.