Facial hair is biologically useless. So why is a human being?


  • Body hair helps with thermoregulation.

  • Scalp hair protects your scalp from the beating sun, but it gets stuck in the heat even if you are in cold weather.

  • The eyelids are like screen cords for the eyes, keeping out bugs and dust and small debris particles whenever they are open.

  • Eyebrows prevent sweat in your eyes.

  • Armpit hair, technically called “axillary”, collects and spreads pheromones, acting like WD-40 of body hair, reducing friction between the skin on the underside of the arm And when we walk and swing our arms.

  • Pubic hair also helps reduce friction, as well as providing a layer of protection from bacteria and other pathogens.

But facial hair? You will notice that it does not appear in the list of symptoms with adaptive hair.

In the early days of studying such stuff, evolutionary biologists thought that it could serve thermoregulatory or prophylactic purposes, similar to body hair and pubic hair. The beard and mustache surround the mouth, after all, the mouth carries in food and other particles that can carry the disease. The beard and mustache are also on the face, which is attached to the head, which loses a lot of heat from its top when it is not covered by hair. It all makes sense when you look at it this way.

Except this theory has no problem: it leaves 50 percent of the population, ie Women. Natural selection is ruthless, and has sent the A LOT species through the dodo – for example, the dodo – but rarely, if it does, does it choose to feature in such a species and half the population Hangs, especially the half that makes all the children (ie, the most important half). If facial hair were to perform important functions, it would be present in both sexes. Instead, thick, mature facial hair is almost exclusively present on the male half of the species, and its only function is to sit on its wearer’s face, signaling to everyone who crosses his path.

What indicates Send facial hair? Well, here is where it gets a bit complicated, as the decorative traits go. Professor Geoffrey Miller of the University of New Mexico, one of the evolutionary psychologists prevalent in the field, puts it this way: “The two main explanations for male facial hair are intermittent attraction (attracting females) and internal competition (rivaling males).” Intimidation). ” Originally, facial hair signals something more to potential partners (namely virginity and sexual maturity, hubba-hubba-type goods) and potential rivals (formlessness and wisdom or divinity). Taken together, these signs elevate their own brand to men with the most majestic mustache or the biggest, most dreadful rods.

The signal that facial hair sends is stronger and more reliable among men who are more commonly antagonistic than it is between men and women who are more commonly partners. In fact, evolutionary biologists will tell you (if you ask them) that while some women actually like facial hair, and some don’t, and some can’t care less, beard density more often than attraction. This does not happen with anything else. That is, if you are in a place with lots of beards – say, a logger convention – then a clean-shaven face is more attractive, but if you are surrounded by a bare face, a beard is best.

In evolutionary genetics, it is called “negative frequency dependence” (NFD), which is science-obsessed to the idea that it is beneficial when a trait is rare within a population. For example, men with a unique combination of colored spots mating more often and hunting less. This is a huge competitive advantage. It is expected to go to Vegas hoping to lose by $ 1,000, but even hope to break away, instead of only winning $ 1,000 in the end. This is a $ 2,000 swing! This is the same thing for an attribute with NFD selection. The symptom goes from fighting his life for the life of the party. The downside is that the competitive advantage can very quickly result in the overbearing of others with the same trait, as all along it does a very interesting looking telltale – meaning it loses its rarity. And becomes common. Not to worry, nature has a solution for this: as more criminals bear the same trait, it leads to a decrease in interest from peers and increased attention from predators. What was once hot new gossip was the old thing, in other words.

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