Friday, November 19, 2010

The Evolution of Beauty

A TED talk on the origins of our ideas of beauty, beyond our specific cultural sensibilities, that have developed in the human species through evolutionary processes.

Very comprehensive and interesting as usual with TED.



  2. Matt Ridley's "Red Queen" argument is that the entire human brain and consciousness is a the equivalent of peacock feathers- and I think that broader approach might be a better way to look at the topic of beauty; because beauty is significantly more complex than Dutton makes it out to be. On some primal level - yes we are all admire physical beauty in an animalistic way, but consciousness and self-awareness beget the possibility of beauty as an idea and conditioned response rather than a primal drive. Take for example the ideal human body: it varies tremendously by culture and time, and in ways that blatantly contradict so-called evolutionary ideals. Kate Moss and "heroin chic" are the exact opposite of women whom a nomadic Mesopotamian man would choose: no body fat, no muscle, slender hips. And yet she remains a dominant cultural sex symbol.

    Beauty definitely has an biological lineage: symmetry, order, strength. It also definitely has a cultural dimension - art history and our own personal experiences with other cultures show that.