Pursuing that thought can reveal possible reasons humans began to wear clothing. For warmth and protection, especially when humans begin migrating to colder climates. Further down the line of human progress, the naked body became taboo and modesty came into the picture. It's very easy to come up with some reasons for wearing clothes. But now ask the question, "When did humans begin wearing clothes?"
Not an earth-shattering question. Perhaps not a question many people would think very important (or possible) to get an answer to. But there are those who burn with the desire to get an answer to this question, believe it or not.
Groups of researchers have thought of possible ways to determine the approximate date of apparel wearing. One idea says this could be determined by analyzing the date of origin of human body lice. The reasoning is that since humans have sparse body hair, the only way human body lice could survive would be in clothing. Seems an awfully long stretch to me. What about lice jumping off an animal and chowing down on a human? But supposed serious research has been done under this premise.
So how to determine when body lice appeared on humans? Simple. Take a modern day louse and do a genetic analysis of it. One group has determined that the human body louse appeared roughly 107,000 years ago, thus humans began to wear clothing about the same time. But nothing is that simple, let alone the ancestral DNA of a louse, for yet another team of researchers did the same genetic analysis on the modern louse and determined that it appeared roughly 540,000 years ago. The two groups are still haggling about it.
This is all according to some articles I've read on the Internet. Of course, reading something on the Internet doesn't make it so. It is hard to believe that scientists would take the trouble to invest effort, time and money on such a project. And just think of how many innocent body lice had to be sacrificed.
While I can't verify all of this, as ludicrous as it seems it most certainly is possible that this research has happened. Especially if you consider these other areas of research, a mere handful of crazy research projects I found while surfing the 'net:
- Arm pit odor research.
- Research to determine the relationship between beards and hierarchy.
- Research to prove that familiar children's nursery rhymes were written by aliens.