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Male faces 'buttressed against punches' by evolution

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posted on Jun, 22 2014 @ 03:51 PM
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a reply to: Phage




If faces evolved to withstand punches, shouldn't hands have done so as well?


The hands do indeed develop as a person adapts to violence. Usually leaving arthritis in its wake as a person ages.





posted on Jun, 22 2014 @ 04:08 PM
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I disagree this theory. Saying that nature works in purposeful ways, ie. the evolution of facial structures evolved for the purpose of defence, as if random genetic mutations had the volition to reach a teleological end, is no different than saying God did it. Although being punched in the face for so long could account for such structures, there is no way to postulate that these facial structures have any purposeful application such as defence or "protective buttressing". Possessing a greater chance of surviving a broken jaw is the result of, not the cause of, this evolutionary trait. Biology should get out of the business of postulating teleological principles as explanations.



posted on Jun, 22 2014 @ 04:20 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

I think it's more a point of those with stronger heads survived and bred more than those that didn't hence future generations having genetically stronger heads, just like humans are getting taller as it is a favoured trait and jaws weaker as we aren't chewing as much due to softer and more processed foods like white bread. There is a theory that the fork has caused humans to have an overbite.

www.tested.com...
edit on 22-6-2014 by theabsolutetruth because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 22 2014 @ 04:21 PM
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a reply to: Morningglory

Good post


It made me consider why most mammals have soft tissue for their noses. I had mine smushed whilst sparring recently; it bled a little and is still tender. The soft tissues and cartilage provide a greater chance of keeping the airways open and protect the bony part like a cushion. Despite the soreness, I can still smell and that's a sense that can be the difference between survival and death.

Pheromones, food, sickness, prey and predators...no smell, no survival or reproduction.



posted on Jun, 22 2014 @ 04:23 PM
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a reply to: theabsolutetruth




I think it's more a point of those with stronger heads survived and bred more than those that didn't hence future generations having genetically stronger heads, just like humans are getting taller as it is a favoured trait and jaws weaker as we aren't chewing as much due to softer and processed foods like white bread. There is a theory that the fork has caused humans to have an overbite.


Yes. Environmental factors could reach such results over time, but we cannot say we developed an overbite so that we can fit a fork in there.



posted on Jun, 22 2014 @ 04:23 PM
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a reply to: Phage

If your hands hurt so much, you don't know how to ball them up good enough.

Try getting a punching bag and ball them up until there is no space at all.

The more you practice clenching your fist and throwing punches the less they'll hurt when you connect with another human being.



posted on Jun, 22 2014 @ 04:29 PM
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originally posted by: LesMisanthrope
I disagree this theory. Saying that nature works in purposeful ways, ie. the evolution of facial structures evolved for the purpose of defence, as if random genetic mutations had the volition to reach a teleological end, is no different than saying God did it. Although being punched in the face for so long could account for such structures, there is no way to postulate that these facial structures have any purposeful application such as defence or "protective buttressing". Possessing a greater chance of surviving a broken jaw is the result of, not the cause of, this evolutionary trait. Biology should get out of the business of postulating teleological principles as explanations.


I think you are misunderstanding the claim.

Take 2 guys, one will have a stronger bone structure than the other, nobody is exactly the same. Now, over and over and over again lets have them fight. The one with stronger bone structure survives more frequently, so more frequently he mates, passing on his genetics for heavy bone structure.

There is no implication that faces got stronger in order to prepare for fist fights. What's happening (or proposed as happening) is that people who have naturally stronger face structure were more successful at reproducing, therefore they passed on the genetics for heavy bone structure. Over time more and more heavy-faced people reproduced, and less and less weak faced people reproduced, until eventually the whole species has a heavier bone structure.

It's a passive system, not an active one. It doesn't create change to fit a need, it allows natural mutations that are helpful to be passed on over and over until it becomes a part of the whole species.

Now, there is some evidence to suggest a more active system, with the idea of viruses and prions changing our DNA, and that prions result from environmental condition, this shows a direct and active role of the environment changing a creature, instead of the creature just conforming to the environment over time as more typical evolution teaches.

But nobody is saying your face "knew" it had to grow stronger. Some people are just naturally born with stronger faces, and if that helped them reproduce, they passed that gene on, and it kept happening until we all have that gene.

If all of the sudden every woman on earth refused to sleep with men under 6 foot tall, and this went on for thousands of years, and the species survived, then all of the human race would be much taller because the only genetics getting passed on would be the ones for tall people. Genetic mutation still comes into play, shorter ones will be born, but they won't mate and their genes not passed on.



posted on Jun, 22 2014 @ 04:29 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

The theory is that usage causes adaptations.

www.theatlantic.com...


This change is far too recent for any evolutionary explanation. Rather, it seems to be a question of usage. An American anthropologist, C. Loring Brace, put forward the thesis that the overbite results from the way we use cutlery, from childhood onwards.


What changed 250 years ago was the adoption of the knife and fork, which meant that we were cutting chewy food into small morsels before eating it. Previously, when eating something chewy such as meat, crusty bread or hard cheese, it would have been clamped between the jaws, then sliced with a knife or ripped with a hand -- a style of eating Professor Brace has called "stuff-and-cut."

The clincher is that the change is seen 900 years earlier in China, the reason being chopsticks.



posted on Jun, 22 2014 @ 04:37 PM
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a reply to: James1982

I am aware of that and agree. I am merely pointing out that the evoking of teleological claims is fallacious. Saying that faces evolved to withstand punches is like saying that we developed opposable thumbs to play video games, or that we evolved feet to wear shoes.

Read here:




A new theory suggests that our male ancestors evolved beefy facial features as a defence against fist fights.


No, we evolved beefy facial features as a result of fist fights, not for any strict purpose such as avoiding damage in fist fights.

ETA: Maybe it's just the way the BBC is reporting it. I didn't look at the paper itself, only the way it's being talked about.

After reading the abstract, I found the same mistake in its initial claim:


In this review, we suggest that many of the facial features that characterize early hominins evolved to protect the face from injury during fighting with fists.



edit on 22-6-2014 by LesMisanthrope because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 22 2014 @ 04:49 PM
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originally posted by: LesMisanthrope
a reply to: James1982

I am aware of that and agree. I am merely pointing out that the evoking of teleological claims is fallacious. Saying that faces evolved to withstand punches is like saying that we developed opposable thumbs to play video games, or that we evolved feet to wear shoes.

Read here:




A new theory suggests that our male ancestors evolved beefy facial features as a defence against fist fights.


No, we evolved beefy facial features as a result of fist fights, not for any strict purpose such as avoiding damage in fist fights.



Well, you have to remember you're reading an interpretation of an article writer, not a peer reviewed scientific paper.

I see what you're saying, instead of just making the connection between stronger face structure and damage resistance, they specify fist fights. It does seem pretty presumptuous to tie it in with people punching each other, instead of tying it in with resistance to getting bashed by a wild animal, or having your skull chomped or something like that.

The video game comparison makes sense, but we know for a fact we had thumbs far before we had video games. It's kind of impossible to prove when humans first started punching each other, so it seems reasonably possible that was a driving factor.

Primates usually attack the genital area, and humans have pretty large genitals compared to most animals. Maybe we switched from attacking people's genitals to attacking their faces which allowed our genitals to grow large without becoming a liability in a fight, although people still go for the crotch in a dirty fight so it's hard to say. Maybe the switch in fighting style came from a change of intelligence, where previously the person's genitals were representative of the person and therefore the part attacked, but once intelligence increased a bit we started to associate a person's head/face as being representative of that person, so we started punching faces, leading to stronger faced people prevailing.

I just don't see it as being impossible or even unlikely that our "battle behaviors" played a part our body's evolution, but to conclusively tie it into fist fights specifically does seem to be reaching.



posted on Jun, 22 2014 @ 04:54 PM
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a reply to: James1982




The video game comparison makes sense, but we know for a fact we had thumbs far before we had video games. It's kind of impossible to prove when humans first started punching each other, so it seems reasonably possible that was a driving factor.


Exactly. The function comes after. We can grasp because we have hands, not that we evolved hands so that we can grasp. It's tricky, but such language should be done away with in scientific matters because of what it implies. That's my only point.



posted on Jun, 22 2014 @ 05:03 PM
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originally posted by: James1982
...It's kind of impossible to prove when humans first started punching each other, so it seems reasonably possible that was a driving factor.

...

Aside from the couple of times my father required my brother and I to fist-fight each other (with my father beating whichever one was losing !!!), I've never punched another person in the face/head with bare fist.
And, aside from very few other real-life occasions, I do not see people hitting other people in the face with fists (I have, of course, seen plenty of fights on video/television, and known plenty more who boasted of such feats).
On those points, alone, this seems pretty far-fetched, to me.

Likewise - if this 'mechanism' is behind me being so ugly...why are none of the local cave-women beating down my door?
I had hope when this thread started... Now, I'm just confused.



posted on Jun, 22 2014 @ 05:05 PM
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Yeah this is interesting,

Carrier and Morgan, the researchers responisble for this present silliness, published a paper 2 years ago called FIGHTING SHAPED HUMAN HANDS.

Uh huh, those two are on a real tear aren't they.

Not only do they know nothing about trauma, they know nothing about boxing.

This...



Is how men in the west boxed until we visited the Philippines.

If every hand has evolved for punching and striking there would only be one way to punch and strike. Anyone that has ever engaged in punching and striking has seen their hands change.


edit on 22-6-2014 by Bybyots because: . : .



posted on Jun, 22 2014 @ 06:42 PM
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a reply to: Subnatural
I got weak male features.

Why'd God make me so weak. Maybe it's better somehow. I mean, rather than getting beat up physically, I just get words thrown at me. Real men don't punch a weakling with glasses. That's cheap.

But anyway, it's hard to say what this research means. It apparently argues weaker upper body strength and smaller mass has led to these features in our faces being smaller, but still markedly bulkier than females.

There's no arguing that males do have bigger bodies and more muscle, but whether this made done strictly for fighting is contentious.

This reminds me of when guys say bigger breasts are sought after because they make more milk. Of course, this isn't true. A small breast can produce on the level of a big breast. However, during pregnancy, a woman's breasts will swell, some more than others. I don't think it has anything to do with milk, but it's instead a random side effect of something else.

My point is to say strong facial features don't necessarily mean they're there to absorb violent blows - just like how big breast don't necessarily mean better or more milk. The connection has to be proven scientirically.
edit on 22-6-2014 by jonnywhite because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 22 2014 @ 07:37 PM
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a reply to: Subnatural

If this is the case, then way aren't my shin bones better protected? Wait, I know.. Early man didn't have to find the light switch in the middle of the night while negotiating the wife's so-called needed furniture.


edit on 22-6-2014 by BlackOops because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 22 2014 @ 07:44 PM
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You know what the clincher is?

We don't have a name for it. If we have or had as human beings evolved a special hand-thing or anatomy for "punching" you would hear or read, "And then johnny smote him with his XXXXXX".

And the word is not "fist", yeah, we have one, but it needs to be developed, otherwise one of the leading visits to emergency rooms wouldn't be boxer's fracture .



Ergo the face thing is nonsense too.



edit on 22-6-2014 by Bybyots because: . : .



posted on Jun, 22 2014 @ 09:21 PM
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a reply to: Subnatural


The idea that our very bodies are designed for violence is undesirable, it suggests that under a thin veneer of civilization we are not that different from the animals.

It may be undesirable, but it's true. We don't draw scientific conclusions based on what we like, but on what we observe in real life.

The violence we are designed for arises from mating competition. That is why the males of our species are stronger and more robust than females: because we fight over our females.

The same is true of many animal species. In some, it is far more extreme than in our own. At least most human males do find a mate; among deer and seals, for example, mating opportunities are exclusive to the alpha male in the social group. Other males occasionally sneak in, but only at the risk of their lives. In species like these, sexual dimorphism is extreme; male elephant seals, on average, outweigh females by a factor of three. And we all know about antlers...

Now here's a cat to fling among the pigeons: which ethnic group has the most robust male faces: people of white European stock. Odd that, eh? What do you make of it?



posted on Jun, 22 2014 @ 09:42 PM
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a reply to: BASSPLYR

You're fighting this hard, aren't you?

The point isn't that human male faces are armoured like tortoise's backs. Traits rarely evolve under the influence of a single environmental factor. The forces that evolved the human form are complex and interactive.

The point is that human male faces are more robust than female human faces. Why? There are two possible reasons, and they are related. The first is that males fight other males over females (even more so among our ancestral species than among our own) and our robust faces have evolved as a defence. The second is that females have evolved a preference for males with more robust faces. Since more robust faces indicate a better chance of passing on one's genes, this is a very likely trait to undergo sexual selection.

Here, by the way, is a link to the actual paper. Have a look at it for yourself and see whether you're still sceptical afterwards.



posted on Jun, 22 2014 @ 09:47 PM
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a reply to: Bybyots

You, too, Bybyots, are making the same error as BASSPLYR. You seem to think we're like deer or something, with specialised weapons and defences for fighting. We're not, because evolution hasn't worked that way with us. But it is rather obvious that human males have evolved to be somewhat different from human females, and we would like to know why. We know from other species that sexual dimorphism is often the result of sexual selection — that is, mating competition among males and mate choice among females. We know that human males fight over females, and may conclude that our ancestors, such as the australopithecenes, did too.

Humans, unlike moose or lobsters, are nonspecialists whose bodies and brains have evolved to be behaviourally labile, versatile and innovative. Within the frame of that larger reality, male faces show the marks of sexual selection for greater robustness. Obvious when you think about it, really.

If you disbelieve in evolution, of course, all bets are off, but I'm not going to argue that ancient debate in this thread.


edit on 22/6/14 by Astyanax because: lemonade is better.



posted on Jun, 22 2014 @ 10:33 PM
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As for why hands are not "armored" it would seem reasonable that any significant amount of "armoring" of the hand area would render our hands less useful for tools. And I'm guessing tool usage has far more impact on our evolution than fighting considering tools can also be weapons, so we'd keep our dexterous but fragile hands while gaining a tougher face.

It just seems so odd that so many are against the idea, I understand that it's reaching to say with any authority that fist fights directly caused a heavier bone structure in the face for a fact, since all we can really do is guess, but it makes sense that men would have a stronger face being more likely to take battle damage, there doesn't seem to be anything there going against standard evolutionary theory.



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