Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Why Would Humans Evolve the Capacity for Tickling?

What's great about the Theory of Evolution is it provides us a paradigm with which we can really explore the features of living organisms. The old "Godidit" hypothesis always works, but it's not very satisfying intellectually. It's pretty much a dead end.

So why would humans develop the capacity for tickling? This is just a recent curiosity of mine. A little google research provides some interesting insight. The theory is that laughter creates social cohesion, indicating to other members of the species that you aren't there for threatening purposes, improving social bonds, etc. Apparently tickling is a mere extension of that.

This may be true and it may be false. Searching google I find that creationists like to mock such explanations. In truth they are speculative. But they do conform to an overall paradigm that we know is true and they offer testable features. What do the creationists offer? Nothing but the untestable and unfalsifiable assertion that God is responsible complex things. There's not so much to mock on that view because there's basically almost nothing there to mock.

1 comment:

HispanicPundit said...

My paradox is this: given the immense curiosity and habit of putting everything in their mouths of infants, why hasn't natural selection breed this out? In other words, you would expect that the more curious, the more wanderers, the ones who put more things in their mouth would have died out and you would be left with infants more likely to stay in a certain area, less likely to put things in their mouth, and less curious.

But the opposite seems to be true? Why? I wonder how even my own child is able to stay alive with this natural inclination - let alone historically, with families having many more children in far more dangerous circumstances.