Re: Hominid Altitudinal-Latitudinal Adaptations

Phillip Bigelow (
Sun, 27 Oct 1996 18:54:09 -0800

Rohinton Collins wrote:
> It seems reasonable to me that the most parsimonious reason for the naked
> body of Homo sapiens is because we wear clothes. At some point in human
> evolution, hominids took to wearing clothes (obviously). With clothes
> taking over (for the most part) the job of insulation of the body, it
> became hairless. This was reinforced by the
> fact that sweating became far more efficient. So a clothes-wearing hominid
> would benefit from nakedness both in the summer and the winter.
> Does this make to much sense for some of you?

Well, since we have two indisputable facts to work with in your
hypothesis; 1) We are partially hairless and 2) we wear clothes,
your hypothesis is at least based on facts.
Whether it is a reasonable hypothesis, I certainly don't know.
The two "events" (wearing of clothes and the retention of full
primate hair) may have, of course, overlapped for a considerable
amount of geologic time. I guess it is possible that, eventually,
fully-haired people started to get selected out (due to redundancy in
function???). It is hard for me to visualize a scenario involving a
lengthy period of geologic time where hominids were BOTH hairless AND
unclothed. THAT doesn't seem parsimonious at all.