Re: AAT Theory

18 Oct 1995 01:40:02 GMT

chris brochu ( sez:
`In article <45vsiv$> pete, VINCENT@REG.TRIUMF.CA
`>One could reasonably speculate that if it wasn't gone already,
`>body hair would be detrimental to a creature huddling around
`>a campfire at night. Whether this might amount to significant
`>selective pressure I don't know, but if my overcoat caught
`>fire, I'd be mighty appreciative of the fact that it wasn't
`>attached to my skin. So, say, by h. erectus, it's disappearing?

`Of course that's reasonable. But, is it testable? If we stated that H.
`erectus was furless, how would we know if we were wrong?

No, absolutely untestable. The only point is that one can probably
propose a mechanism for loss of hair at any stage of our evolution.

The only thing I can think of which might give a vague estimate
of how long ago this occurred is a very shakey speculation: if
we can develop some sort of understanding of how much of sexual
attraction is in the genome, and how long it takes to get there,
we might use the association of more facial and body hair with
apprehended maleness to get a ballpark on how long ago females lost
their body hair. I don't hold out a lot of hope for the possibility,
though. Certainly not in the near term.

..I do like the idea of investigating the genetic history of
the human flea, and the hair and body lice. (Crab lice would
presumeably tell us much less). Estimates of when they speciated,
and from what other creatures, might provide some interesting
information, and perhaps some surprises.

========================================================================== <== faster % Pete Vincent % Disclaimer: all I know I
% learned from reading Usenet.