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Showing posts from July, 2011

Sexual Selection, Children and Teenagers

To find out first the 2 key things about LIFE, go here.

With that in mind, we can now look at sexual selection in children and teenagers. To find out about sexual selection, read this post first. The reason I have asked you to read the first link before reading this post is because the 2 key things about life are sustainability and propagation. That is, surviving and reproducing. When it comes to children, psychologists too often, and wrongly, emphasise the "reproducing" part of life, and omit the "surviving" part. They paint a bizarre image of people that is highly sexual (in the "people have sex way) and ignores completely the importance of whatever follows after conceiving a child. Evolutionarily speaking, the psychologists' theory that they wrongly label as "evolutionary", is anything but that. Firstly, there is the assumption that what humans try to subconsciously achieve by having children is pass on their genes, that are supposedly the bes…

High end products of human sexual selection, and how they provide diversity

We might think things such as laptops and bikinis are simply the result of human intelligence, but they are not. Human intelligence enables these things to be made, but that is true for toilet rolls and portable toilets, too. The difference is that some things are made to be better than anything else, and to gain popular support. Yes, they do have nice-smelling toilet rolls with Winnie the Pooh sketched on them, but what I am talking about are big, industrial productions of artificial things which are highly selected. This can be seen in the competition for smartphone dominance between iPhone and Android for example, or in the fashion industry between all the big names.

What makes an item better than another? Its suitability to the environment and likelihood to succeed. Put simply, the same things which make some species dominate a habitat, and some individuals outperform others. And of course, the drive behind selecting which traits are thought best, is the same, Sexual Selection. Wh…

Cheating

Cheating in its simplest form involves supporting something, and then letting it down. If you see yourself as a collection of attributes of all kind, be it physical, mental, spiritual or otherwise, then your friends support most of them. It is a network of selection in which more people support, or select, the same things together (what they like, what they do, etc.). If one of your friends suddenly selects something which goes against everything else, say a radical view on things, then you are likely to completely abandon them and stop calling yourself their friend. Even more, you might make them your enemy.

Imagine the same goes for relationships, but more extreme, and with the involvement of a more relevant selection tool: sex. Evolutionarily speaking, it is easy to figure out why sex has become such an important selection tool, by the use of reproduction of genes. But through the ages, as humans started artificially modifying their environment, the separation of sex and reproducti…

The drives behind relationship make-ups and break-ups

Before we delve into this topic deeper, I advise you first read the post on positive and negative sexual selection. Essentially, both these types of sexual selection work together, and it must be stressed that sexual selection of whichever type is a primal drive of life, equal to the other drives typically seen as primal, such as feeding, survival, etc.

It might seem that examples of modern life sexual selection in humans, such as a mere facebook "like", or supporting Chelsea FC, are not big enough or relevant enough to be caused by a drive as essential and primal as the sex drive. But remember, this drive is of utmost importance in evolution, because it shapes humans' best bets when it comes to unforeseen selection pressures. A spirit of competition and fair-play, for example, might well play a key role if the future selection pressure involves people trusting each other to work together.

How does all of this relate to relationships between people? Relationships may be …

By-products of Evolution - why not everything has a purpose

Last time we looked at how certain major adaptations such as hair loss have enabled humans to survive over the millennia in different conditions, and when faced with competition from other species. Not everything about the human body has a specific purpose, though, in the sense that we expect it to. One example of such thing is the philtrum - that little channel leading from the base of your nose to the upper lip. Recent research suggests that this development dates back millions of years, and has been inherited from fish. Apparently, when human embryos develop their face in the womb, all parts of the forehead, mouth, etc come together and fuse where the philtrum is located.


Some adaptations, on the other hand, are no longer relevant not because of their nature, but because the environmental selection pressure for which they evolved has disappeared. For example, an East Asian's typical eyelid shape evolved as a result of higher light intensities in that area of the world, yet the …

The evolution of the human body

In order to be able to look at ourselves in the mirror and be able to answer the question "Why do I look like this?", we must look back to our ancestry and their lifestyle, over a very long period of time. For the purpose of this analysis, let's look at the human versus the neanderthal. Recently there have been found neanderthal genes within the human gene pool, but the two species are different enough to compare, yet not too different (human versus fly would be too different).

As you can see, the construction of the human pelvis and toes is different, and the human has less hair. This results in humans being able to run easily for long distances, in the detriment of short-distance running which we are worse at. We sweat better, so we can do more long-term effort. This feat is essential to better settlements, as we can discover a larger area with potentially better resources. It might seem counterproductive to not be able to run quickly for a short period, when it comes …