Home » Animal minds, Darwinism » Coffee!! Thicker foreheads: Meet thickets of Darwinism

Coffee!! Thicker foreheads: Meet thickets of Darwinism

In “Men developed thicker foreheads and jaws due to fighting, over women” Richard Alleyne, science correspondent for Britain’s Telegraph, who presumably knows better, advises us (14 May 2010):

Winning a mate used to depend only on physical prowess and men with the strongest jawline and thickest skulls were better able to survive onslaughts from love rivals.

That meant that over time all men developed thicker bones in the jaws, around the eyes and on the forehead than women.

You can read the further Darwiniana for yourself here.


Men evolved manly jawlines and thick brows because they used to fight for women in the past, claim anthropologists

To dispose of the evidence-based issues first, it is more likely that characteristic male appearance is part of a kit of traits governed by the need for rapid building of muscle mass. Maybe a fuzzy navel was part of that too? Whether governed by design or chance, the kit is the kit, and if you have outdoor plumbing to begin with, you probably got whatever else came with the kit. (If you didn’t, you can always complain to the Manufacturer, though how much good that does is under debate. You might get the usual “I am the Potter, you are the clay,” boilerplate in response.)

The part I want to focus on is the observation of biological anthropologist David Puts of Pennsylvania State University and author of these theories, that “On average men are not all that much bigger than women, only about 15 percent larger. But the average guy is stronger than 99.9 percent of women.” From this he derives his theories.

As I wrote to a friend recently,

But what if Jawline is stupider than 99.9 per cent of women? Isn’t he winning the club bash, just to go to his doom?

This classic Darwinian thesis entirely discounts the effect of intelligence in confrontations.

And that somehow images Darwinism perfectly, doesn’t it?.

Suppose Jawline is bashing it out with Muscle and Gravel?

Go-getter, watching nearby, has always avoided the race to the bottom, possibly because – although he has normal male characteristics – he is not physically intimidating.

He has had his eye on the nice girl standing there, haplessly awaiting her fate, for some time. So, seizing an opportunity, he whispers,

“Hey, babes, with any luck, all these losers will just kill each other. I’ve got a nice little secluded cave up in the hills. Always plenty to eat. Lots of skins. Lots of firewood. Wanna come and see it? Fine. Just don’t make any noise while we go.”

This is the “true evolutionary reason” why women put on more fat, a fact that Dr. Puts correctly notes … (See? I can make up stories too.)

Incidentally, I am told that something like this can happen with a number of animal species where males compete for mates. The female may mate with the male who is just standing around, because he is Mr. Available. Of course, he isn’t smart, just less aggressive, and the species doesn’t get any smarter as a result of his success. But this situation helps the ecology by controlling the value of sheer aggression. That’s behavioural ecology, which I consider a much better explanation of many facets of animal life than Darwinism.

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4 Responses to Coffee!! Thicker foreheads: Meet thickets of Darwinism

  1. Very interesting. Biologists observing bucks (male deer) during the rut (their mating period) has found that the mature dominant bucks don’t always get the does. While the dominant bucks are fighting the younger non-dominant bucks are breeding the does. In other instances the dominant bucks are unable to breed with the numerous does (doe numbers may bee too high in some areas) due to fatigue and thus again allowing the non-dominant bucks to breed with the does. Seems reasonable to me that this same scenario could have occurred with Jawline???

    Just a thought.

  2. wagenweg at 1, I am calling for Jawline to get himself killed and take himself out of the picture.

    If aggression did all we needed, intelligence would never have developed.

  3. 3

    I believe Darwin talked about mens/womens looks with a conclusion about women picked for looks , so always teenage girl looks selected and pulling women in that direction, and men picked for strenght in their twenties and so men pulled in looks in that direction.

    Yet the amswer to this should be simply our heads are relative to the ideas behind our bodies below the neck.
    The male is big and angular below and so above.
    The female is small and round and so likewise above the neck.
    There is no difference above or below in a law of design.
    In fact it could only be this way.
    Indeed in Eden it probably was not about muscles or lack of them that told the tale of sexual segregated looks. It probably was simply about the whole body following an idea or law of affirming the angular or round mechanics of our bodies. It could be that the male size was original and female shape a reaction to reproduction (for eve) and so a reaction against size/muscle/bone structure.
    A woman is not just smaller but rounded off. Not just hips. So likewise the head is more gentle.
    No men were not butting heads. bugger bones make bigger foreheads.

  4. 4

    Human beings, supposedly, developed intelligence so they could outsmart competitors to get food. But when it came to getting women, men discovered that the best method was to bash each other’s heads in because that works a lot better than trying to be smarter than the other guy. Evolution, very kindly, made sure that the guys got thicker heads (rather than bigger brains) because that’s how evolution works.
    With this, we see the precision and elegance of evolutionary theory in full bloom. Who could doubt it? It’s actually more sophisticated than Einstein’s theory which had to rely on mathematics and other things like that which nobody can really understand. With evolution, it’s just a lot better. We know it’s right. Men are different from women because evolution decided to have two sexes and women didn’t want thicker skulls and bigger jaws anyway.
    Sure, it can be difficult to make up stories about the history of the world, but usually a good imagination will provide plenty of solid evidence to prove that you’re 100% correct.

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