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Christopher Halliwell

Secondary Education Physics, Mississippi State University

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What is the advantage of evolving the ability to cry?

Is it simply a result of evolving the ability for complex emotions?


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    Mar 21 2013: I think, the question is loaded. It presumes that if we possess some ability, it must have advantage for our survival. I've often heard evolutionists say things like "human emotions are programmed by evolution" as if evolution has any will to give us features and abilities that help us survive. Aren't adaptations and mutations just random events? How did humans evolve freckles or red curly hair?

    "Does the ability to cry have any advantages?" or "why should we have it?" also seems to be an irrelevant question to explain why we have it. We don't have everything we think we "should have" (e.g. it might be cool to have an RF sensor built into our brain) and we often have things that we shouldn't (cancer, for example).

    From evolutionary standpoint, the only question that seems to makes sense is "can it lead to our extinction?" If the answer is "no", then there is no reason why we shouldn't have it.
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      Mar 21 2013: lets assume we dont get exinct if we lose the ability to cry. That means at some point in the future, tear glands become unneccessary for our survival, rendering it useless. we have seen humans lose vestigial(useless) organs which all humans are still born with the appendix. It was believed our ancestors had a vegeterian(herbivore) diet and the appendix helped digest the food. Now we are omnivores and we dont need complex organs for digesting plants; but we are still born with it! Meaning that if we lose the ability to cry, it will take thousands of generations until we would see a complete removal of the tear glands.

      crying moisturizes the eye. Ancient Earth was all water and oceans. Organisms with eyesight during ancient earth are used to the abundance of water around their eyes and entire bodies. When Land appeared and organisms had to deal with their loss of habitat by adapting to a dryer environment, i.e. Land. So tear glands may be an adaptation to keep vision healthy by keeping the eye as close to the moisture it was used to in Ancient Earth.

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