Thursday, February 22, 2007

Pop Culture v. Space

So I've been reading the Mating Mind, which describes human evolution in terms of sexual selection (more on that later). Anyway, he emphasizes that humans evolved to devote a significant amount of their thinking to thinking about other people, and not really abstract concepts.

Now, after the death of Anna Nicole Smith, it's not hard to see it in practice. I am constantly amazed at the amount of attention people give to celebrities. There must be something in our head hard wired to be interested in drama. Men are a little different, with them focusing on sports to the same degree that women focus on celebrities.

On the SETI website, there is an interesting article on the decline of science.

There is also an amazing picture of galaxy cluster Abell S7040, 450 million light years away.

If people are incapable of appreciating such things, and can't unless their media forces them too, they won't. So called "oppressed," groups probably can't either. Maybe it's from dysgenics in our society, I don't know.


kirez said...

If you fully understand Miller's argument, our interest in abstract ideas is also best explained because the genes which give us an interest in abstract ideas increase our behaviors of learning to be clever in conversation, quick-witted, creative, entertaining -- the organisms possessing these geness are more likely to be chosen as sexual mates and thus, over large numbers and generations, will pass on their genes more successfully (etc, you know the process). Our abstract intelligence developed because it made us better sexual partners or gave us an advantage in competing for sexual partners.

MensaRefugee said...

To take his argument to logical extremes... it would mean people with High IQs should have it easier with women.

From my observations, Higher IQ types have a marked trend towards introversion. Maybe it made sense when looking for a long term mate. Maybe our culture is simply dysfunctional. Who knows.

TabooTruth said...

Thank you for the clarification, Kirez. What I'm saying is that those who take an interest in space will not do as well sexually as those who take an interest in human drama. Creative and entertaining, not understanding of galactic proportions.

Geoffrey Miller does not imply that high IQ people end up with the women. It is people who are efficient at fitness displays who get play. Our culture is disfunctional, but it is also that, as Miller admits, dominance is of supreme importance when it comes to mate choice. That is genetic.

MensaRefugee said...

I see your point. We are at a cross-road of sorts. Humanity doesnt consider intellect to be a dominance characteristic as much as it should (objectively defined as by how much it contributes to survival).

Sexual selection cannot get too far from natural selection for obvious reasons. So, for moderate to distant future generations, I predict either
a) Intelligence will become a sexier trait or
b) Mankind will wipe out intelligence via 'dysgenesis'.