The university of life

The Function of snot

Snot research has always been on the forefront of science. The impact of snot on society is immense. Many people make a living out of snot (logging, paper and handkerchief industry).

Many people are unaware of the function of snot. Currently there are two theories floating around in the academic world on the function of snot. There is one rather elegant theory that proposes that snot works as a natural vaccination therapy. Viruses and evil microbes attack constantly our mucus membranes in our noses. Our body fights back with producing slime containing anti-bacterial and anti-viral substances. This kills off or weakens the nasty pathogens.

The story doesn't end here though. We produce such a large amount of mucus that 'snot' is formed. This is then conveniently deposited near the entrance of our noses; ready for picking as it were. Our involuntary nervous and motor systems can't resist the inbuilt drive to pick our nose and to unconsciously move the finger, which contains the green gem, into our mouth. There our digestive system takes up the weakened pathogens, which are now easy pickings for our immune system. This works the same as a vaccination in which parts of pathogens or weakened pathogens are injected into our body. Our body is now better prepared to ward off the next round of microbial attack thanks to the snot vaccine.

Human evolutionists do not deny this theory but insist that there is more to the story than just plain immunology. They claim that snot was one of the major forces behind human evolution. Humans started walking upright and were now free to use there hands as they pleased. Humans who were good hunters/gatherers were seen as excellent partners and hence there was a natural selection for those who were good with their hands and fingers; essential tools for a good hunter/gatherer.

On top of this natural selection the evolutionists claim that there was also sexual selection involved in this process. Men and women were often separated during hunting trips. Women would stay behind to gather and men would hunt. How could they assess each other dexterous skills? They assessed this objectively by the nose picking skills of a prospective partner. Obviously our close relatives the chimpanzees and other monkeys have no problem with picking noses although it can sometimes look a bit crude. That is when the nose started evolving. Our noses got bigger and our nostrils smaller. It became more difficult to pick our noses, but ancestors with good nose picking skills still had more reproductive success because of the sexual selection. A beneficial side effect of the selection of nose picking skills and larger noses was that our brains grew bigger in order to solve new nose picking problems unknown to our smaller brained ancestors. This heralded a new stage in evolution. We had now become smart, but obsessive with picking our noses.

A response to this lecture can be found here


Professor at the UOL

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