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Possible evolutionary advantages for tears?

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Right so tears release lysosomes/lysozymes, hydrolyse irritant material, flush said material out of your eyes. But why then, do we do this when we are sad. Indeed, how does sadness provide any evolutionary advantage at all? Sadness is, quite possibly, one of the most unproductive emotions out there. Anger gives you strength and drive to action, happiness is widely proven to be good for your health, and it usually comes about as a result of beneficial circumstances, which drives you to put yourself into those circumstances again. But sadness is debilitating. Some people experience it so strongly, they are quite literally bed-ridden. Why does this still exist/why did it develop?

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We evolved and lived in groups, for we are social animals. Comforting is natural to us; likewise, facial expressions express our emotions. If we are sad, we seek comfort to feel better.

 

~~~~~ I can't explain properly, hopefully someone has a much deeper understanding in this than I do.

 

I'm speculating that tears was a sign of sadness, and it was an openness from the comfort of others.

Edited by NimrodTheGoat

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Right so tears release lysosomes/lysozymes, hydrolyse irritant material, flush said material out of your eyes. But why then, do we do this when we are sad. Indeed, how does sadness provide any evolutionary advantage at all? Sadness is, quite possibly, one of the most unproductive emotions out there. Anger gives you strength and drive to action, happiness is widely proven to be good for your health, and it usually comes about as a result of beneficial circumstances, which drives you to put yourself into those circumstances again. But sadness is debilitating. Some people experience it so strongly, they are quite literally bed-ridden. Why does this still exist/why did it develop?

Two things I can think of is that sadness can cause behavioural changes that communicate, through tears for example, your need for help and as a counterbalance to happiness because it is an excitable state which can cause excessive energy expenditure, both mentally and physically. Basically, happiness is not a state of hormonal equilibrium and it can cause you take more risks due to the disinhibition that can accompany it; this is not evolutonarily desirable when in excess or sustained. Also, happiness is not appropriate, and indeed may be harmful, in some contexts. For example: somebody's loved one just died, are you going to smile and be jolly with them? It can be socially reinforcing to mirror their feelings, which is evolutionarily desirable because it enhances the bonds within a group.

Edited by StringJunky

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Right so tears release lysosomes/lysozymes, hydrolyse irritant material, flush said material out of your eyes. But why then, do we do this when we are sad. Indeed, how does sadness provide any evolutionary advantage at all? Sadness is, quite possibly, one of the most unproductive emotions out there. Anger gives you strength and drive to action, happiness is widely proven to be good for your health, and it usually comes about as a result of beneficial circumstances, which drives you to put yourself into those circumstances again. But sadness is debilitating. Some people experience it so strongly, they are quite literally bed-ridden. Why does this still exist/why did it develop?

I think there is a point to sadness.

If nobody could feel sadness there would be no empathy. If there was no empathy, social groups would have had a much harder time getting by.

So it helped people communicated and live in communities.

 

It's like pain.

It doesn't seem like there's a point, but there still is.

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I remember that there was an old paper (50s or 60s) that proposed that the origin of emotional tears may be found in infanthood. Crying is an important signal for parents, but in cases of tearless crying mucous membranes desiccate, increasing the risk of infections.

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Yeah one of the things that I noticed is that animals such as rabbits for example, which are generally similar enough to humans for most testing purposes, don't have tear ducts, hence why they are used in cosmetic testing so much. Crying seems to be an emotional response in primates. Would be interesting to know whether or not baboons and the like can cry...

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I would like to know why my nose runs when I poo.

 

Seriously, every single time I go, I have to blow my nose. I won't go into details, but it's the same whether it's a quick easy episode, or a strain.

 

Maybe it's self protection, against your own stinkiness?

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I would like to know why my nose runs when I poo.

 

Seriously, every single time I go, I have to blow my nose. I won't go into details, but it's the same whether it's a quick easy episode, or a strain.

 

Maybe it's self protection, against your own stinkiness?

Wahtt?

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I would like to know why my nose runs when I poo.

 

Seriously, every single time I go, I have to blow my nose. I won't go into details, but it's the same whether it's a quick easy episode, or a strain.

 

Maybe it's self protection, against your own stinkiness?

You probably have a moldy bathroom and a strong mold allergy

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You probably have a moldy bathroom and a strong mold allergy

Doesn't happen when I pee, or shower.

Funny thing is, it's not something that I've noticed all my life. It's lately it seems to have started.

Not a problem, or anything, but it's odd.

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