Hair and Erector Pili Muscles

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In an article on vestigial organs Live Science writes: “The erector pili are smooth muscle fibres that give humans “goose bumps”. If the erector pili are activated, the hairs that come out of the nearby follicles stand up and give an animal a larger appearance that might scare off potential enemies, and a coat that is thicker and warmer. ... Of course, some body hair is helpful to humans; eye brows can keep sweat out of the eyes and facial hair might influence a woman’s choice of sexual partner. All the rest of that hair, though, is essentially useless.”

Live Science

Editorial Comment: Human hair and the erector pili muscles are not useless. Even where it does not have an obvious protective function such as eyebrows or on the top on the head, body hair contributes to our sense of touch. Hair follicles have nerve endings wound around their bases. Whenever a hair is moved the nerve ending is stimulated.

The erecter pili muscles anchor the hair follicles in the skin and their contractions help expel secretions from the oil glands that keep the skin and hair from drying out. Normally these contractions go unnoticed. We only notice them when our autonomic nervous system, which controls them, reacts strongly to stress. When subject to strong stresses, such as fear or cold, autonomic nervous system reflexes tend to over-react and the hairs stand on end. The fact that we are subject to strong stresses is a reminder that we no longer live in the “very good” world God originally created, but the degenerate world that followed the Fall of Man and God’s judgement on the whole creation, including human bodies. (Ref. vestigial, dermatology, epidermis)

Evidence News, 7 October 2009

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