The hair stands up on the back of our necks when we are afraid. What does this have to do with evolution?
Only humans have evolved this gesture
Our ancestors looked bigger when they were frightened if their hair stood up
It shows our muscular structure is similar to that of apes
Correct answer: Our ancestors looked bigger when they were frightened if their hair stood up
To get an example of this physiological phenomenon, one need look no further than the family cat when it's scared by a dog, puffing up and hissing. This 'piloerection' is nearly universal among mammals- chimpanzees do it too. However, in modern-day short-haired humans, the gesture has lost its original significance. If it is not an evolved response, why should we have it at all?
What do goosebumps have to do with evolution?
Our ancestors were warmer when they fluffed up their hair
They prove we are related to birds
They are unique to humans
Correct answer: Our ancestors were warmer when they fluffed up their hair
Again, this is easily observable in modern-day birds and mammals. Also, again, it's easily explainable by evolution, but not by creation. As one scientist put it, 'Goosebumps were obviously 'created' to erect and 'fluff up' the hair or fur on a hairy or furry mammal ancestor, thereby improving its insulation value against the cold. Since most of us nowadays have so little body hair as to render it useless for insulation purposes, goosebumps are another vestigial reaction whose tool (fur) is no longer with us.'
Marcsana’s response (to both questions)
You say that the hair standing on our necks is evidence of our ancestors. This is preposterous. Before making such a bold claim, one must first PROVE evolution, which can't happen. This question assumes evolution to be true and is, therefore, argumentative. Before stating evolution as fact, you should show a mechanism that ADDS information to an organism. Not one has been found. You also need to show some transitional fossils in the record, and yet there are none. You could probably also make a reasonable case how life can from nothing. But there's not. There is also that huge information hurdle to jump over. Nothing in nature adds or gives information. An intelligent source must add information and since our DNA is packed with untold libraries of information, we need a source. But non-living things do not give rise to information. Just a few problems. Having hair stand up is not good evidence of millions of years of man's evolution.
Firstly- I am going to do two things here. So far, both in this conversation and in email correspondence, Marcsana has been less than attentive to answering direct questions. I’ve tried to address all of his. So I have a few such questions to start with. I’d appreciate direct answers to these questions in your own words, Marcsana. I’ll also happily answer any direct questions you ask of me in return.
- Why do we have piloerection at all?
- Why does the hair stand up on our necks when we are frightened or otherwise experiencing extreme emotion?
- Why do we have goosebumps at all?
- Why do we have goosebumps only when we are cold or experiencing extreme emotion?
Secondly- as to the information argument (which has absolutely nothing at all to do with goosebumps or piloerection) I have been preparing a post about creationist language, and I’ll discuss it there.
Transitional fossils also have exactly squat to do with our prickly neck hairs. In the interest of not taking up vast megabytes of Internet space on topics that simply aren’t relevant to this discussion (but are immensely important aside from it) , I refer anyone interested in this topic to my quiz Evidence for Evolution- Transitional Fossils.