Civilization is at war with nature. That is true at least with regard to facial hair. In the heat of this centuries-long battle, on which billions of dollars are spent each year, few have paused to consider how the war began in the first place. Why did nature give men—and some women—beards? How did they end up with a band of hair on their cheeks and chins that society requires they scrape off every day? If one hopes to discover the meaning of beards, it makes sense to start with these basic questions. And that will require us to peer into the mists of the evolutionary past.
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