Early humans ‘kept their chin up’
‘A new theory suggests that our male ancestors evolved beefy facial features as a defence against fist fights.
The bones most commonly broken in human punch-ups also gained the most strength in early “hominin” evolution.
A paper, published this week in the journal Biological Reviews, argues that the reinforcements evolved amid fighting over females and resources, suggesting that violence drove key evolutionary changes.
Prof David Carrier and his co-author, physician Dr Michael Morgan, propose that violent competition demanded the development of these facial fortifications: what they call the “protective buttressing hypothesis”.’
The article concentrated on the jawbone of modern humans, and early hominids, concluding that evolution favoured those with a stronger jaw to be our ancestors.
No mention that this very same idea was put forward by Stan Gooch many times in his numerous works, supported by ample evidence and solid research, but for some reason it was ignored, along with the rest of his ground-breaking ideas (see Personality and Evolution, for example).
Phrases such as ‘square-jawed’ and ‘take it on the chin’ he proposed, are references to the distinctive nature of the male chin. During a fight, fighters tend to swing for the jaw as it is a fairly easy way to knock someone out if done right, especially if the opponent has a ‘glass jaw’. We can also see the prominent jaw is a feature in many of our superheroes, the main one of course being Batman, whose mask protects every part of his face except his chin.
Stan Gooch also suggested that the male beard is an accompaniment to the prominent chin, augmenting it as such, in order to highlight and enlarge it. this could also be why we treat people with long beards more reverentially – perhaps the beard suggests to us (unconsciously) that they are to be feared or admired in some way, an innate threat-aggression signal releaser from our distant past.
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