According to MIT graduate student Tomer Ullman, humanity's early ancestors harnessed the "natural adrenaline boost" brought on by the sound of wailing babies by strapping infants to their bodies and wearing them into battle.
Photo Credit: Gerry Thomasen | CC BY 2.0
Ullman's hilarious presentation on the competitive advantage of "extreme infant distress vocalization" (aka "crying") was named the winner of last year's Festival of Bad Ad Hoc Hypotheses (BAH!):
Inspired by a comic by SMBC's Zach Weiner, BAHFest is "a celebration of well-researched, logically explained, and clearly wrong evolutionary theories." Winners are awarded a sculpture of Darwin shrugging skeptically.
Last year's was the first ever BAHFest, and we're happy to report that event organizers have planned two more festivals for 2014, one for the East Coast and one for the West. The former will be held in Cambridge, MA on October 19th, at MIT's Kresge Auditorium, the latter at San Fransisco's Castro Theatre on October 25th. Tickets are on sale, as of Friday. Get 'em here.
H/t Robert Krulwich