Apes Laugh, Tickle Study Finds

The combination of common facial expressions, breathing patterns, and sounds has led de Waal to the conclusion that our laughter has prehistoric, ape-based origins.

What’s more, “the primate laugh is given in playful contexts, and as such has a strong similarity to the human laugh,” added de Waal, who was not involved in the tickle study.

“Tickling and wrestling are the situations in which primates laugh—and I use the term ‘laugh’ now advisedly, because the evidence from this study is very strong that their display is evolutionarily related to the human laugh.”

via Apes Laugh, Tickle Study Finds.

I continue to not get this argument.

“There are similarities, so the similarities must be due to evolutionary links!  Because, um, they must be!”

I guess it’s sort of elegant … the way any tautology is simple and elegant?


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