posted on Nov, 9 2012 @ 06:23 PM
Originally posted by Xaphan
This is the most absurd thing I've ever heard. People smile when they are happy or find something amusing. It has absolutely nothing to do with
aggression or displaying dominance. If anything, smiling makes people less apprehensive in social situations and more open to communicating, which
certainly wouldn't be the case if it were linked to aggression.
TL;DR - There isn't always a biological/"Darwinian" explanation for everything. Sometimes it just 'is what it is'.
I don't think it's absurd at all.... we are animals just like all the rest. In almost all cases imaginable presenting ones open mouth and teeth is a
sign of aggression.
Smiling and laughing IS a biological act. NOT a learned, cultural act. Little babies that have no idea what they are doing smile when happy and cry
when sad. It's biological, therefore there has to be some biological evolution of the act of smiling.
I think the person that said it evolved from "play fighting" is probably right. When rough housing with friends and family primates would most
definitely have been growling and hissing like all animals, and even modern humans do (grunts, yells, moans, etc when fighting or going through
extreme physical exertion)
Because the emotion was positive instead of negative, the act of smiling evolved to be different then growling with exposed teeth. Laughter and
smiling put people at ease, so evolving to let others know you aren't a threat or there for anything nefarious would have been a good thing.
Try smiling at some wild animals and i bet they won't think you are expressing positive happy thoughts.
EDIT: Forgot to say S&F OP, cool thread I like thinking about things like this.
edit on 9-11-2012 by James1982 because: (no reason