Forum: Arts / Philosophy

Smiling and the human Race
By houndrfriendPremium member Comments: 636, member since Mon Aug 16, 2004
On Mon Dec 19, 2011 07:36 AM

Have you ever thought how odd it is to smile?Well,I have..You show your teeth in a certain way.If a wild bear showed you the teeth ,you would run.Showing teeth is a sign of aggression in most animals.Sometime,in the last year or so,I saw part of a program on TV that explained how scientists were able to work out if a skeleton belonged to a human being or some sort of ape that was like a human being.It was about the teeth.Apes and non human beings have very big powerfull teeth and jaws to be able to eat hard nuts and vegetation.Human beings have smaller and sharper teeth that are not so suitable for biting and smashing up hard nuts in the mouth.Therefore,skeletons that are thousands of years old that have very big tough teeth are not human.That made me think that thousands of years ago ,when one of our human ancestors met another being that looked something human,an instinct began that made humans show their teeth.If the other being did not show their teeth or showed huge lumps of ivory,then the human would know it was not the same species and not to try to make friends.It could have been difficult thousands of years ago to know who was friend or foe or ape.There may not have been clothes or there may have been much untidy hair.The teeth would show who to mix with.

4 Replies to Smiling and the human Race

re: Smiling and the human Race
By AlwaysOnStagePremium member Comments: 7417, member since Sun Apr 18, 2004
On Mon Dec 19, 2011 07:45 AM
I know I told you about this like 7 or 8 months ago, because you brought this up on some post. Yes, the social interaction of smiling is derived from bearing your teeth when approaching someone new to induce fear in them to try and encourage cooperation instead of conflict (because they are scared that you will kill them, and you are (perhaps) scared that they will kill you). Over time it developed other social connotations such as pleasure to see someone, or displaying a positive emotion to a stimulus.
re: Smiling and the human Race
By imadanseurPremium member Comments: 16604, member since Thu Dec 04, 2003
On Mon Dec 19, 2011 07:51 AM
Actually one of my professor's in college focused on animal behavior in chimps and he talked about something similar...baring teeth is not always a threat. In primates, showing the teeth, especially when held together, is almost always a sign of submission. You could make a case that the human smile probably has evolved from that. When the lips are curled and teeth are apart (in primates) they are ready to bite.

There are a lot of facial studies done with blind people and even when a baby is born blind they still exhibit the same kind of facial expressions when happy and sad even though they have never seen them to mimic them.
re: Smiling and the human Race (karma: 1)
By panicmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 11592, member since Thu Dec 16, 2004
On Mon Dec 19, 2011 01:02 PM
The phrase "nuts in the mouth" made me giggle. And yes, I AM 10 years old.
re: Smiling and the human Race
By Cadbury_Eatermember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7575, member since Sat Jan 04, 2003
On Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:40 PM
Too bad nuts are on the brain nowadays.

It's quite odd.