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Notes and Reflections on Books and Media

by Hannah Leitheiser

Naked Humans

Organic evolution, a text book

Lull, Richard Swann




'Still another specialization [in humans] is the loss of hair from the body..."(1) It is accompanied by an exceptional and progressive delicacy of skin, quite unsuited to travel in tropical forests. I do not know of any thin-haired or hairless tropical animal whose skin is not more or less thickened for protection against chafing, the attacks of insects, etc. (2) The loss [of hair] is most complete on the back and abdo- men. The arms and the legs and, in the male, the chest, retain hair much more persistently. This is just what would naturally happen if the loss of hair were due to the wearing of clothes, — at first and for a long time, a skin thrown over the shoulders and tied around the waist. But if the loss of hair were conditioned by climate it should, as it invariably does among animals, disappear first on the under side of the body and the limbs and be retained longest on the back and shoulders."' - Organic Evolution


I don't know, though. Why start wearing clothes when you have perfectly good fur? I still hold with Darwin -- it was sexual selection that made humans mostly naked.