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Author Topic:   Is body hair a functionless vestige?
Taq
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Posts: 8488
Joined: 03-06-2009
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Message 44 of 143 (561211)
05-19-2010 12:20 PM
Reply to: Message 43 by Ken Fabos
05-18-2010 7:22 PM


Re: Anyone disagree that body hair has sensory function?
Dr Adequate, I think it's you and others that are asserting that sensory function exists but provides no significant benefit.

The problem seems to be that you think vestigial means functionless. It doesn't. Vestigial means having a secondary or rudimentary function compared to the same feature in another species. The sensory function of hair on humans is a secondary or rudimentary function compared to the primary function of thermal regulation. Hair is vestigial on humans. We depend on sweat and clothing for thermal regulation.


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Taq
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Posts: 8488
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 7.4


Message 63 of 143 (565599)
06-18-2010 10:35 AM
Reply to: Message 60 by Ken Fabos
06-17-2010 8:28 PM


Re: Anyone disagree that body hair has sensory function?
Sorry, but my hairs are able to sense things at a threshold much lower than my bare skin. I don't believe I am unusual in this respect.

This is a secondary role for hair, not it's primary function which is insulation. This is why human hair is considered to be vestigial because it has lost its primary function.

For detection of insects and ticks I have no choice, given my own everyday experiences, to conclude that vellus hairs are superior to hairless skin - and very fine vellus hairs are superior to thick heavy hairs - for detection of very small stimuli.

Hair also provides cover for ticks. When someone is bitten by a tick they often find them just inside the hair margin. Also, body lice are evolved so that the distance between their pincers is the same as the distance between human pubic hair. The best cure is just to get rid of the hair.


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Taq
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Posts: 8488
Joined: 03-06-2009
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Message 97 of 143 (611967)
04-12-2011 1:00 PM
Reply to: Message 95 by Robert Byers
04-12-2011 1:22 AM


hair certainly keeps creatures warm. Body tempature is very important in nature.

You should take a trip to Africa sometime. You will find that keeping the body cool is much more important, especially to hunters. Humans evolved a very interesting way of hunting. We chase animals during the heat of the day until they collapse from heat exhaustion. We don't collapse because we sweat profusely. Cooling the body is a much more important adapation for humans than what little warmth our hair provides.


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Taq
Member
Posts: 8488
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 7.4


Message 106 of 143 (612415)
04-15-2011 11:50 AM
Reply to: Message 102 by Robert Byers
04-15-2011 12:59 AM


I agree our hair gives no warmth. however it does attempt to keep us dry.

No, it doesn't. If anything, it keeps more water on the body than not having hair. For examples of hair that DOES keep water off the body you should check out dog breeds that have a dense undercoat, such as Labradors or Newfies. That hair actually does keep water off the body unlike ours.

I see it as a quick reaction in a post flood world.

You seem to see a lot of things for which there is no evidence.

I don't see hair as doing much unless for women it more keeps them from being too cooled in the climate.

Hair density in women is the same as in men for most cases. Alopecia is more common in human men, but it does occur in women as well. Also, more insulation is actually a hinderance in many climates that humans are otherwise well adapted to, such as the savannas of Africa. Like I said before, sweating is a much more useful thermoregulatory adaptation in humans than hair is, by a long ways.


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