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Why did evolution leave beards on men?

Discussion in 'theory, philosophy & history' started by bimble, Dec 29, 2017.

  1. SheilaNaGig

    SheilaNaGig Struggling and striving


    As I understand it, the aquatic ape theory suggests that we kind of hung around in the water, pretty much within standing distance of the shore. So swimming wasn’t the main thing.

    Anyway, I like the theory but this thread is about something else.
     
    bubblesmcgrath likes this.
  2. BigTom

    BigTom Well-Known Member

    Basically, back in the early days of humans, there were humans that were instinctively drawn to shaving and not having a beard, and other humans that were not drawn to doing this. Because tools were not very good, this being long before safety razors were invented, shaving meant lots of nicks and bleeding, and this blood attracted predators. Over time this meant that the shavers died more and did not pass on their instinctive shaving genes, whilst the more superiorly adapted non-shavers gradually edged them out. Of course the instinct has never entirely gone because this is a marginal rather than substantial evolutionary pressure, hence we still have shavers today, and as shaving is safer and predators are fewer, perhaps we will see this evolutionary trait arise again.
    HTH
     
    Wilf, MochaSoul, Voley and 13 others like this.
  3. cupid_stunt

    cupid_stunt & dyslexic cnut.

  4. friedaweed

    friedaweed Sitting down for a wee

    No that was Lightyear mucker ;)
     
    danny la rouge likes this.
  5. xenon

    xenon Carne Por la Machina


    Miller...
     
    friedaweed likes this.
  6. littlebabyjesus

    littlebabyjesus one of Maxwell's demons

    That's a very marginal gain for an animal that spends most of its time out if the water. Not convinced at all by it. What percentage gain of streamlining are we talking here? Mammals that return to water often lose their hair as in seals or whales but often don't as in the very streamlined and very hairy otter. I see no reason at all for this theory to be true and lots of reasons to doubt it.
     
  7. petee

    petee i'm spartacus

    perhaps this is the right place to tell the following story.
    i used to have a red, like really red, like copper-red beard. but my hair has always been brown.
    and a gf once said to me, "you know what women think when they see that..." :oops:
    so the evolutionary benefit my beard provided me is prrrrrrrretty obvious.
     
  8. Celyn

    Celyn Well-Known Member

    Actually, no. Not obvious, but I'm glad for you and your long ago gf. :D
     
    JimW likes this.
  9. Wookey

    Wookey Playful as a pussy cat

    Women have beards and taches too, just not as thick.

    We all have very similar numbers of hair follicles be we male or female, it's the coarseness of the hair which is different in each gender... Because testosterone.
     
    campanula, Humirax and fishfinger like this.
  10. Mumbles274

    Mumbles274 running from law and the press and the parents

    Will humans have evolved to have not had hairy bodies first, including facial hair with later evolutionary characteristics such as beards being developed as a further adaption? First humans were in hot climates, dark and smooth skimmed weren't they? Earlier humanids hairier and hairier?

    Its not so much why did beards remain but why did they come back/ develop in males more predominantly?

    Is the process of skin colour adaptation understood or have sound theories? Hair straightness and colour? Eyes? Do apes have different colour eyes?
     
  11. farmerbarleymow

    farmerbarleymow daft apeth

    Do you mean do different species of apes have variable eye colour between individuals, or do individual apes have differently coloured eyes such as one blue and one green?
     
  12. Mumbles274

    Mumbles274 running from law and the press and the parents

    Do any other ape species have different eye colours to their kin?
     
  13. farmerbarleymow

    farmerbarleymow daft apeth

    I haven't really thought about eye colour in primates. But wikipedia has this article about the cooperative eye hypothesis, regarding the difference between humans and other primates.

    Cooperative eye hypothesis - Wikipedia

    However, blue-eyed black lemurs look from a quick search that they are the only other primate to have blue eyes. This paper looks at whether there is a link between the genetic basis of this and human blue eyes, and concludes that the genetic basis of blue eyes differs between the two species.

    Blue eyes in lemurs and humans: same phenotype, different genetic mechanism. - PubMed - NCBI
     
    Mumbles274 likes this.
  14. Sprocket.

    Sprocket. I’ve got scars, that can’t be seen.

    We are looking for a pointless answer....
     
  15. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge This is definitely the darkest timeline

    Talented man that Ben Miller.
     
    Sprocket. likes this.
  16. bimble

    bimble noisy but small

    just found this, which is the best thing I've read on the subject so far (apart from here obvs) :
    Survival of the Scruffiest

    Includes this bit, acknowledging that 'because it isn't a disadvantage' is fair enough but doesn't make people stop asking:

    "As it now stands, theorists have proposed three basic solutions to the beard conundrum. The simplest, which Darwin himself considered and rejected, is that beards have no purpose at all. Accidents happen in evolution as in everything else. A gene preferred in natural selection for, say, its role in making the skin more resilient, may have the secondary effect, not in itself significant, of giving that skin a certain color. The difficulty in discerning any obvious survival value in facial hair makes it a possible example of this phenomenon. But most scientists have been reluctant to let it rest there. For one thing, insignificance is an unprovable supposition. It is impossible to say for certain that beards are simply along for the ride, at least not until all the functions of all the human genome are discovered. Scientists seek reasons for things, after all, and it is far more interesting to suppose that beards serve a purpose, obscure though it may be.."
     
  17. Sprocket.

    Sprocket. I’ve got scars, that can’t be seen.

    Bit of a Stretch....sorry!
     
    Spymaster likes this.
  18. nuffsaid

    nuffsaid But this goes up to 11

    Well having read this thread there is another theory I read about once.

    Beards make a man look more aggressive - and so when competition for mates is involved those with fuller beards were able to intimidate males with lesser or no beards and so the genes for growing beards, as a result of testosterone, became more widely distributed. They are grown to show dominance over other males, and therefore become associated with status, a trait attractive to females as it provides a greater chance for their genes to have a better chance of survival as high status individuals get the best access to food, weapons etc and lower ranking individuals will be roped in to aid the upbringing of high ranking children.

    Even today when I see an attractive female in a Starbucks I am less inclined to attempt to approach her due to the glaring looks of the scarily-bearded hipsters located nearby on their Macbooks, intimidating me not just with the beard but with their feminine patois on the benefits of organic ale and knowledge of avocado ciabattas available locally, a knowledge I cannot compete with. Thus I tend to shuffle off with my early 90s stubble and vacate the current gene pool.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
    bubblesmcgrath likes this.
  19. Ralph Llama

    Ralph Llama Fuck the system.

    Clitoral stimulation increasing chances of reproduction ?
     
  20. Kaka Tim

    Kaka Tim Crush the Saboteurs!

    Humans aren't particularly impressive swimmers when compared with other aquatic mammals - - i.e the ones with fins and tails and shit - but are still a lot more adapt at swimming then the rest. And its not about where humans live now - the argument is that at some point of human evolution there was a very strong link with water. you only have look at pearl divers to see what swimming day in day out for most of your life does for proficiency in the water.
     

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