Characteristically Human

One of the rather curious things about homo sapiens is laughter, one of the three common convulsive behaviors of people in daily life, the others being grief and orgasm. … Since the full development of these phenomena is characteristically human, it seems that laughter, sobbing, and orgasm are perhaps not lower functions in a simple neurophysiologic sense but have evolved because of the hypertrophy of the upper levels and the resulting peculiar relationship between the cortical-intellectual processes and those which go on below.

–Gregory Bateson, “The Position of Humor in Human Interaction”

I give you this for no other reason than I like the idea that a “fully-developed” orgasm is “characteristically human.”


2 thoughts on “Characteristically Human

  1. C. Puls February 16, 2011 / 1:27 am

    (Because it means that the more orgasms we have, the more human we are, am I right?)


  2. UM March 10, 2011 / 2:47 pm

    this is philosophically enticing but entirely unfounded.
    I do not think any real scientific inquiry can lead you to think that we are the only species with laughter, grief, or orgasm.


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