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Thursday, August 06, 2009

Ten Unexplained Human Characteristics

New Scientist is at it again. This time they've come up with Ten things we don't understand about humans.
  1. Blushing
  2. Laughter
  3. Pubic Hair
  4. Teenagers
  5. Dreams
  6. Altruism
  7. Art
  8. Superstition
  9. Kissing
  10. Nose-picking
It goes without saying that these "problems" are much more of a concern for adaptationists than for pluralists.


  1. I thought superstition is a common problem :-)

  2. Is that as bad as todays article on miracles? I dunno...

  3. I'm kinda surprised yawning isn't in there. Just-so stories abound in that field.

  4. I shaved off my public hair, my pubic hair too. It's itchy. Speaking of itches - what's the explanation there?

  5. In case you're wondering, it's not a spelling mistake: pubic hair is public in Canada. It's photos of teenagers that are taboo up here.

  6. Tyro: yes it is a typo.

  7. Is that public hair a veiled reference to islam being misunderstood?
    I agree that the features in new scientist aren't very good, and the news too brief. I don't think this is a new development though.
    (veiled- get it)

  8. Isn't New Scientist a reputable popular science news website? Is there not debate regarding these human characteristics?

  9. I agree that the features in new scientist aren't very good, and the news too brief.

    Brief, I get it.

  10. Altruism? They don't understand altruism?

    I'll give them a hint: who is more likely to receive help and cooperation? The nice guy or the asshole?

    Being nice has advantages. Being an asshole doesn't.

  11. How about we chill out with the hyperadaptationalism a bit? There doesn't have to be any adaptive value to any of those... byproducts happen, etc. News reporters seem to have failed that little detail. Because just-so stories sell so well...