Re: Why is Homo sapiens hairless?

Barry Mennen (
2 Nov 1996 18:05:32 GMT

In <> (T&B Schmal) writes:
>I don't know the answer for hairlessness but here is a possibly
>approach. Look at the environment of the new biped - what are the
>animals in it wearing? The lions, the zebras, the baboons. Hair.
>Follow with me on this. Why don't these animals just wear skin and
>the hair. What is it that hair has that gives them the survival edge?
>we can answer that question, then maybe it will be evident why man
>not need all that much hair.
>So what are the plusses of hair?
>Tom Schmal

"I am inclined to believe, as we shall see under sexual selection, that
man, or rather primarily woman, became divested of hair for ornamental
purposes; and according to this belief it is not surprising that man
should differ so greatly in hairiness from all his lower brethren, for
characters gained through sexual selection often differ in
closely-related forms to an extraordinary degree."

Darwin C. The Descent of Man. Princeton University Press, 1981.
Photorepro of 1871 edition. Pages 149-150

Let's get back to basics if we realyy want to deal with parsimony. It
all had to do with sex--not thermoregulation or whatever.


Barry Mennen