Re: Why is Homo sapiens hairless?

John Waters (
5 Nov 1996 11:57:06 GMT

Rohinton Collins <> wrote in
article <01bbca42$8c913740$LocalHost@dan-pc>...
> John Waters <> wrote in article
> <01bbc9e7$46fdff20$f42270c2@default>...
> > Human females have a fixed layer of subcutanous fat
> > concentrated in certain parts of their body.
> Exactly, only certain parts. This is for storage, not
insulation (although
> it doubles up on this score).

JW: How do you know what it's for Roh? If it is for
why is it only found on the female? And why don't Ape
females have similar stores of fat?
> > This is a
> > permanent form of insulation which means they require
> > body hair than primates without such layers of fat.
> This is too simplistic. You are equating the present
human condition (who
> mostly wear clothes, by the way) with that of the first
hairless hominid.

JW: No, Roh. I'm equating the present human condition with
all primates,
period. No other primate has such a permanent form of
insulation. If they did,
it is my contention that they wouldn't need so much body

> > If clothes were used as a means of camouflage, and the
> > maintenance of the camouflage was essential for
> > then there would be an advantage accruing to hominid
> > individuals with less hair, or more sweat glands etc.
> Again, camouflage in this instance would also have been a
> consideration. Surely clothes would first have been used
for insulation and
> protection, and then for camouflage?

JW: You are a difficult person to please, Roh. I have gone
to great
trouble here to make a case for your clothes theory. I have
avoided the
insulation question for obvious reasons. Insulation against
what? The
heat? The cold?

Not the heat, for reasons you have stated. What about the
Consider your theory. The species are hairy, but they still
cold. So they invent clothes and start wearing them. Right?
enables them to exist in colder, or more exposed habitats.
But why
would this lead to less body hair, since this would reduce
insulation? And more sweat glands would make them colder
still. It wouldn't make sense, would it?