You probably know that you can't tickle yourself. And although you might be able to tickle a total stranger, your brain also strongly discourages you from doing something so socially awkward. These facts offer insight into tickling's evolutionary purpose, says Robert R. Provine, a neuroscientist at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and the author of the book Laughter: A Scientific Investigation. Tickling, he says, is partly a mechanism for social bonding between close companions and helps forge relationships between family members and friends.
Laughter in response to tickling kicks in during the first few months of life. "It's one of the first forms of communication between babies and their caregivers," Provine says. Parents learn to tickle a baby only as long as she laughs in response. When the baby starts fussing instead, they stop. The face-to-face activity also opens the door for other interactions.
Children enthusiastically tickle one another, which some scientists say not only inspires peer bonding but might help hone reflexes and self- defense skills. In 1984 psychiatrist Donald Black of the University of Iowa noted that many ticklish parts of the body, such as the neck and the ribs, are also the most vulnerable in combat. He inferred that children learn to protect those parts during tickle fights, a relatively safe activity.
Tickling while horsing around may have also given rise to laughter itself. "The 'ha ha' of human laughter almost certainly evolved from the 'pant pant' of rough-and-tumble human play," says Provine, who bases that conclusion on observations of panting among tickle-battling apes such as chimpanzees and orangutans.
In adulthood, tickling trails off around the age of 40. At that point, the fun stops; for reasons unknown, tickling seems to be mainly for the young.
This article originally appeared in the January 2011 issue of Popular Science magazine.
So where does holding your little brother down and tickling him until he pees fall under, social bonding or combat?
After all these years you still can't forgive your brother for that? ;-)
@nonethewiser, that's nothing to do with the "tickling" and more to do with alpha dominance among siblings.
I still laugh with my younger brother about an instance where I had him on the floor in an attempt to land an "Atomic Over the Head Wedgie" which ended in him throwing up. Almost had his undies over his head too.. so close.
You CAN tickle yourself using the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth.
Eviloution is amyth
@Aldrons Last Hope: Apparently the circles you run in also believe spell-checking is a myth....
Someone should do a study on the correlation between the inability to use spell-checking and the belief in creationism....
~I~ for one, thought Aldrons Last Hope's comment in which he incorporates the word "evil" into "evolution" was fantastically clever, and left me wanting to do zen meditations to discover the true meaning of "amyth." I bet it's some kind of mystical place or higher state of being.
[[Sarcasm Levels Critical]]
so quick to judge battleshield, i agree with shadowsurfer, shame on you battleshield, may the amyth be on you :)
Macro evolution is a myth.
Micro evolution is real.
So how does that work with the tickling?
After all these years you still can't forgive your brother for that? ;-)
Probably not. My sister did something similar: she tickled me until I almost passed out. 30 years later I still get a panic attack if someone tries to tickle me.
It's always strange how Evolutionists can believe that life was created by Aliens or some random un-calculable chance. But the thought that God created the world in 7 days is somehow impossible? How does evolution explain things like diatoms could that have such intricate designs and patterns. Or if you looked a the inside of a mosquito's heart as shown here on this website earlier in the year then you would say without a doubt, if you didn't know it was a mosquito already, that it must be some sort of design made by some artist or something designed to look like that. You wouldn't say wow that evolved that way by chance!
If you really want to research the evolution issue try looking here.
You seriously think that a tangled misshapen mass of straw man arguments and arguments from ignorance carries any weight on a website based on fact and reason?
Ebrainer1 - Do you even listen to your own arguments? The same could be same about the so called science in saying that tickling is evolutionary. Or that a Diatom just happened by accident. The science behind evolution is so flawed you need to make up new science to justify the results of something that didn't quite fit the excepted previous results.
As is said ignorance is bliss. So you can sit there at home saying my argument is ignorant, but if you accept evolution as a LAW and don't do any research into other possibilities than your more ignorant then your argument.
Maybe someday the Aliens that created us will return to enlighten us? That's so much more believable right?
Aldrons--learn to spell.
Your tripped out twtp2! And sooooo wrong. There is no god. There is only the natural order of things via forces in the universe. Whatever happens happens because of entropy, matter and energy and combinations thereof are INFINITE. Life is just a natural consequence so foolish you and your kind are. So gullible.
gizmowiz - So if even some the top scientists say that there seems to be order to the universe you would say that's Foolish? The natural Order you say? What order is that? Where does the order come from? Is a mutation ordered? How can a mutation lead to something like a well designed Diatom? How can certain plants and animals exists through evolution if they both require each other to survive? How could they have evolved if they never could have existed without them both being in existence to begin with?
The evolutionists argument is always the same. Call the creationist quacks and say their science is foolish and ignorant. When your own science isn't even based on hard evidence, and most is made up of layers of made up layers of theories.
So are all these scientist who are most likely far superior in intelligence and education to you or I Ignorant and Foolish? This is only a very small part of the list.
* Dr. William Arion, Biochemistry, Chemistry
* Dr. Paul Ackerman, Psychologist
* Dr. E. Theo Agard, Medical Physics
* Dr. Steve Austin, Geologist
* Dr. S.E. Aw, Biochemist
* Dr. Thomas Barnes, Physicist
* Dr. Geoff Barnard, Immunologist
* Dr. Don Batten, Plant Physiologist
* Dr. John Baumgardner, Electrical Engineering, Space Physicist, Geophysicist, expert in supercomputer modeling of plate tectonics
* Dr. Jerry Bergman, Psychologist
* Dr. Kimberly Berrine, Microbiology & Immunology
* Prof. Vladimir Betina, Microbiology, Biochemistry & Biology
trtp2, Here's a deeper question. Are you mentally prepared to accept either answer when and if one of them is proven correct in your conscious lifetime?
If hypothetically we somehow 100% truthfully determine that there is no... i'll use the word..."conscious" godly being watching us, will you be able to live a happy life?
I asked myself this years ago, and through lots of thinking, am prepared to accept either answer, and still not act like a cultureless murdering ape if i find out there is nobody watching from above.
But my main point, and it isn't necessarily directed at anyone in particular; is that with this subject of debate, it is my opinion that your mind is the most objective when discussing the subject of Evolutionism vs. Creationism only when neither outcome will f up your universe.
That's my biggest thing with most creationists; is that they can't fathom a positive purpose to life unless they think that someone is watching them and has a plan for their life. It's also just as big a pet peeve to find evolutionists who do not believe in god but use this as a reason to wallow in negativity saying that there is no purpose to life.
I think the people who really have it right are the ones who can accept either answer, who can still be civil and care about the condition of the human race and still find the passion to still want to enjoy life and still make the world a better place and still do good unto others even if god is proven 100% false.
Well there has definitely got to be some higher power that designed all this, whether you call it god or whatever. This is no coincidence and to think all this just randomly happened is kinda ignorant in itself. Life is constantly evolving , so who wrote the basic instructions, something to think about. Life is not random.
@sir vix - I'm not prepared to accept the No God or Higher Power Theory. That would not affect my happiness though. What would is the ensuing chaos that would follow if somehow God was proven to not exist. Without a God and the underlying moral values established by the Bible and all other religious books then man would revert back to survival mode and kill or be killed. No one would care if they killed you since there would be no ultimate consequence unless caught by the law of the land.
The proof of God though is in everything around you. All things have an unmistakable design to them that could not have happened by random chance. If you look at any biological sample under a microscope you'll see that there's layer upon layer of intricate designs and patterns.
Evolution is change based on mistakes, mutations, and genetic defects. None of which usually make things look or work better. Other then what we as humans do to manipulate life and genetics there is no Evolution only mutation and adaptation.
"God don't think stuff's funny." - Bill Engvall
trtp2, i agree about the ensuing chaos if god is disproven! Unfortunately it's just kind of disappointing to think about, it makes me feel everyone is kind of weak. I personally feel a little uneasy if i tell myself that the only thing that makes me civil and compassionate to others and not murderous is the belief in a being watching me, and the belief in paying a price in eternity upon death if i die with "bad karma". I would feel right on the edge of my sanity if i knew that religious beliefs and religious books were the only thing keeping me from killing someone for bumping into me on the street. I feel alot more controlled and free knowing that i'll always do my best to be compassionate before hurting someone, god or no god. What we do with our lives has the opportunity to echo with all the future generations of humanity, so shouldn't that be enough for someone to want to untimately live a civil and productive life and try to leave a lasting positive impression on the world? Rather that someone who supposedly pats them on the back or slaps them in the face after they die? I think if religious books were disproven, a much more praportionally large group of people who go back to the ape phase would be religious people.
@sir vix - I think I agree with you partially in that many of the people who are 100% atheistic and believe there is absolutely no God, and who are law abiding citizens, would still act the same way. But since that's such a infinitesimal portion of the world wide population that won't matter much. I think the only a portion of the Sect/cultist type religions would have believers going off the deep end. Like Catholic/Jehovah/Mormon/Muslim, those religions have many followers that are only going through the motions and their religion is all that keeps them "good".
As far as the Ape phase comment. Well you'd have to believe humans came from apes before that could be discussed. Since I don't believe that I think it's more the survival phase.
@trtp2 - Dude, a BILLION people on this planet are atheists, second only to Christianity and Islam (which combined total about 3.6 billion.) So a) I don't think you know what "infinitesimal" means and b) you're foolish to think that morals only exist in the context of religion - no, atheists are not just "following the laws."
@sudden - Dude where are you getting you statistics from?
Your number of Atheists is wrong by the very fact that the total number includes people who say they're non religious and or agnostic. The actual number of TRUE Atheists who believe in NO God or Higher power is far less then the 1 Billion you say.
"For the year 2000, David B. Barrett (Encyclopedia Britannica and World Christian Encyclopedia, 2001) classified 150,089,508 (2.5% of world's population) as atheists, and 768,158,954 people as "Nonreligious" (12.7% of the world) for a total of 918,248,462 (15.2% of the world)"
Thus 2.5% IS Infinitesimal in my book when you consider of those 150mil that many believe in a higher power or some sort of God, Order, or Intelligence. So that 2.5% is further reduced to some unknown lower number.
I never said Morals only exist in the context of Religion. I implied that most of the world follows some sort of God based moral code derived from either Biblical sources or they're certain religious doctrine. Based on the above statistics I would say that if about 97% of the world believes in something rather then nothing and if that something is proved to be nothing then without consequences people would be much less moral and ethical in they're behaviors.
So that's great if a few million Atheists were unaffected by such an event but that would be insignificant to the 6 billion it did affect.
@trtp2 Dude, that's pretty offensive.
I'm an Atheist and I'm pretty sure I'm not in "survival mode". Nor am I adhering to a "God based moral code".
You seem to truly believe that religion is the only reason to be moral and ethical in ones behaviour. Well if that is true then that is a sad fact for humanity. Personally I try to be moral and ethical in my behaviour because all 6+ billion of us are metaphorically "in the same boat". Survival mode just isn't going to cut it if we are to progress in our quest to improve quality of life for everyone. And if that is not our aim as a whole then we all have a long way to go.
Personally I find a hell of a lot of religion to be two-faced and hypocritical, since when did atheists hunt witches or start wars or build walls to submit others to famine or torture others or blow themselves up?
I much prefer to let my actions be my own and not ultimately cite an omnipotent deity (that appears to support death as a means to an end depending on which version of God you believe in) as the basis for my moral and ethical decisions.
That's just barbaric.
A thought: If I found this post, and know people like myself, and know that we have never filled in any kind of survey to attest to our religious attributes...
I am less inclined to believe there are only 150mil of us worldwide.
In reference to gizmowiz...
"There is no god...Whatever happens happens because of entropy, matter and energy and combinations thereof are INFINITE. Life is just a natural consequence..."
Something in you logic is either missing from the post, or just plain missing.
Everything happens because of entropy?? What?? Entropy is the way closed systems always tend to progress towards the highest possible state of DISorder. How do you possibly see that as the natural source of life?
And, forgive me if I am wrong, but it sounds like you are saying that you believe the universe and/or time is infinite, therefore every possible combination of atoms happens at some point and that is why we exist...and also that somehow this means god does not exist. But if every possible combination happens, then the "God" combination would happen at some point also (a being so powerful that it can never be destroyed and, if it so chooses, could control everything else).
I think the idea of God makes some sense, but religions are silly, including atheism.
There is nothing logic based in either claiming you know there is no God, or in claiming there is one and you have somehow figured him out and fit him in a book.
Listen to this: Rodeo is a sport that depends on the tickle reflex as well. A flank strap on a bull or horse provokes the need for the animal to escape the tickle. All one has to do is watch young horses play and you see the ticle there as well.
Quick question: do you believe in free will? ;-)
@trtp2 - There are 151.5 million people on earth who strongly hold the opinion that there are no gods (atheists). There are 766.6 million who both reject all religion and strongly hold the opinion that there is no evidence of the existence of gods (agnostics) but, since it is not possible to prove the non-existence of the existence of something for which there is no proof, they choose not to BELIEVE that there are no gods. They simply believe that there is no basis upon which to believe in gods. In other words, gods are irrelevant to them.
Now, there are many millions of people on this planet who are actual agnostics, but who DO practice some sort of religion, at least occasionally. Those people are not generally counted as agnostics, since they are either hedging their bet or are agnostics who, for social reasons, don't choose to make that fact known. I personally know many people in this category.
Aside from the 918 million who are avowed atheists or agnostics, there are another 761 million people who follow religions which do not have gods. The Buddhist and Taoist traditions fall in this category. Also, it's very clear that when lists of adherents to specific religious beliefs (or the lack thereof) are compiled, the population of China is typically included when listing religious belief but not counted when listing atheists/agnostics. It's pretty clear that there are about 4-6% of mainland Chinese who are either Taoists, Buddhists, Christians or Muslims; but what about the other 1.25 billion Chinese? 24% of Taiwanese consider themselves atheist or agnostic. 41% of South Koreans consider themselves either atheist or agnostic. 80% of Vietnamese consider themselves atheist or agnostic. Yet it seems that most such lists put the number of mainland Chinese who consider themselves atheist or agnostic at somewhere between 6% and 14%...even though Chinese who claim to believe in some religion or another number less than 6% of the population. Clearly, no one really wants to know what religion Chinese people follow (particularly if they don't follow one). However, that statistical anomaly accounts for at least another 1 billion atheists and agnostics on this planet, and most of that 1 billion would be atheist, partly because there is no strong tradition of any god centered religion in China for at least the last 1000 years and partly because the communist party has reinforced that cultural base.
In total, then, we have approximately 2.68 billion people on earth who are either very clearly agnostic or thoroughly atheist...about 39.5% of the global population.