Re: Why is Homo sapiens hairless?

Rohinton Collins (
2 Nov 1996 19:55:31 GMT

Barry Mennen <> wrote in article

> "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.
> Cheers,
> Barry Mennen

That's bollocks (no offence). Really though, ornamental purposes? What was
Darwin thinking? How many peoples of the world live in TOTAL nudity? Few or
none I suspect (don't pick, follow this). Why do animals have fur?
Primarily to insulate and protect (any dissent?). What mechanism do modern
humans use to insulate and protect? Answer: clothes. The question is not
when did hominids stop using fur to insulate and protect, and start using
clothes? (Because it is obvious that they did.) But what sort of
evolutionary pressures caused this change? I believe that the hominids'
general increase in cognition and intelligence (encephalisation) would
naturally lead them to a point where they could see the benefit of wearing
clothes and were able to manufacture clothes. After all, this is the case
for us.