Re: Tears, and the Underwood.

Elaine Morgan (
Tue, 21 Nov 1995 13:59:10 GMT

In article: <48dqua$> (Phillip
Bigelow) writes:
> Elaine Morgan <> writes:
> >2. One basic fact seems to have been established. Human psychic tears
> >are unique among primates, as unique as speech or the decended larynx
> >or the loss of body hair, and therefore as likely to shed light on the
> >origin of our species.
> I don't want to be too picky, but do you have a science journal
> for your "basic fact"? I would love to take you at your word, but,
> this newsgroup is a "science" newsgroup and all, I thought I would ask.
>Okay. Let's not call it a basic fact, because it could only be proven by
an indepth study of and report on every extant primate species over an
average lifespan. Even then some of them may have been crying when the
researcher wasn't looking. As you know it is very hard to prove a
negative. I'll rephrase it . "All reputable primatologists who have
pronounced on this matter at all are in agreement that we are the only
primates that weep psychic tears." And I already gave the references for

In the same way, reputable primatologists would presumably agree that no
non-human primate can whistle God Save the Queen. Nobody has written
a paper explaining how they tested all the species and established that
this is true.

> >Prediction: I predict that in the case of non-human primates, any
> >anatomist looking for the nerve from the frontal lobe to the lacrimal
> >nucleus will fail to find it.
> This study may have merit in it's own right. As far as a test for
> psychic tears in non-human primates, it may be more ambiguous.
> Because neurologic wiring is so similar in the
> anthropoid primates, I'll make a prediction that the nerve expresses
> identically (or nearly so) in both the anthropoid apes and in humans.

Great. You're on.