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Evolutionary psychology solves the Problem of Beauty (Goodness and Truth are next)

It’s amazing what passes for science these days (as well as what doesn’t):

The first evidence that beauty is infectious is published today by scientists who have shown that when women see a rival smiling at a man, he becomes more attractive as a result. . . .

Why has nature designed women to be so in thrall to the opinion of others? Selecting a mate and raising children is what life is all about, according to the cold eyed view of evolutionary biologists.

As a result, it pays to get as much information on a man as possible, including what other women think of him. “Using information from others can only improve your decision about a mate,” said Dr Jones.

SOURCE: click here.

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40 Responses to Evolutionary psychology solves the Problem of Beauty (Goodness and Truth are next)

  1. A finding such as this that “nature designed women” to value the opinion of other women, and so choose a better mate, does not support NDE over ID any more than saying that nature designed the flagellum so that E Coli can get food supports NDE over ID.

    “Selecting a mate and raising children is what life is all about, according to the cold eyed view of evolutionary biologists.”

    To assert that successfully reproducing and child rearing is the sum total of what life is about, and that there is no greater purpose or meaning is an assertion of reductionist evolutionary theory and is demeaning to women and to those who do not marry or have children.

    Did Jesus, CS Lewis, the Pope and Mother Thereas miss out on “the sum total of what life is about”?

  2. “Selecting a mate and raising children is what life is all about, according to the cold eyed view of evolutionary biologists.”

    Would someone please do a study, then, and see how many single and/or childless evolutionary biologists consider their lives to have been wasted? Perhaps the Discovery Institute could fund the research. ;)

  3. As far as I am conserned the whole “sexual selection” hypothesis totally collapses in light of reality.

    I am the adoptive father of two girls who are the product of an FAS, mentally handicapped mother. She seems to breed like a rabbit. She has no trouble finding another partner. I, on the other hand, a fellow with a good career and above average intelligence was not able to establish a solid romantic relationship until I was 40. Watching those that are low on the evolutionary totem pole breed like rabbits (and my daughters’ birth-mother is surely not the only one) has caused me to conclude that this theory is, well, full of it.

  4. Where is GK Chesterton when we really need him?

    Beauty, Goodness and Truth are abstract notions and not things that can be reduced to materialist explanations.

    I’m not sure I like the direction in which our society is heading in. I know people have been saying this for years but it really does seem at times that we live in a soulless society and I think alot of people are content to live in one.

    Materialists are vain enough to think that the entire cosmos can be ascertained and studied by our finite minds. They have no need for God or a soul. Everything can be explained in purely materialistic terms.

  5. bFast, it’s my understanding that Darwinists’ explanation for your situation is that humans are (conveniently) no longer evolving. Wars in which the best specimens are sent out to kill each other, hospitals which prolong the lives of the infirm, and moral value systems which call for protection of the weak are also counter evidence for the ongoing evolution of humans, don’t you agree?

  6. Thankfully, we do have people are willing to take a stand against these guys.

  7. This study seems to detect self evident truth. Any cursory consideration of changes in fashion or advertising will reveal how we tend want what we see other people want. Why does stuff like this get published as some how new? Does the success of the fashion industry also provide that Darwinism is true?

  8. “Wars in which the best specimens are sent out to kill each other, hospitals which prolong the lives of the infirm, and moral value systems which call for protection of the weak.”

    This is how Nietzsche and Hitler thought. Its disconcerting that more and more people are thinking along these lines.

  9. “Selecting a mate and raising children is what life is all about, according to the cold eyed view of evolutionary biologists.”

    And to think- Mr. Teresa without any children. She completely wasted her life. A life lived without purpose. What a selfish selfish woman to waste such precious time!

    This isn’t science. This is nonsense. What on earth is a “rival”? If a woman isn’t interested in a particular man, and another woman smiles at this particular man- how is the smiling woman a rival? A rival in what manner? Surely not a rival in the sense that they’re both after the guy, if the first women isn’t all too interested to begin with.

    I guess women can make a game out of this supposed instinct- merely smile at men that your girlfriend wants, and your girlfriend will want the man even more!

    So, if a man is a cheater, a scam artist, an all-around-scumbag- merely taking another woman along with him to smile at him will make him appear somewhat less scumbag-ish to the woman he wants to catch?

    Sorry, I find that people, in general, usually look at a person’s heart, their soul, what makes them unique as opposed to the superficial nonsense this study claims women look for.

    Finally, from personal experience as a man- this doesn’t fit reality for guys looking at women. I doubt it fits at all for women either. I’ve never seen someone find someone attractive simply because another woman was looking at the guy and smiling (giving a positive impression.) If that were the case, the really picky women would fall in love with the worst looking guys simply because the “worst looking” women were looking at these guys with positive expressions.

  10. The article is silly. Everyone knows that the Hokey Pokey is really what it’s all about.

  11. 11

    By the way. Notice this:

    Why has nature designed women to be so in thrall to the opinion of others? Selecting a mate and raising children is what life is all about, according to the cold eyed view of evolutionary biologists.

    As a result, it pays to get as much information on a man as possible, including what other women think of him. “Using information from others can only improve your decision about a mate,” said Dr Jones.

    This is what’s wrong with this study. The absurd notion that women look for “healthy” men that can give them “healthy” children. 1. Many women have NO desire to have children, and have made a conscious decisions that they will do anything possible to prevent pregnancy. Heck- women abort millions of unborn babies each year to prevent a new child in their life! So, clearly life isn’t all about finding a mate and raising children.
    2. Millions of men and women NEVER marry. Some of us never even look for a mate. Priests and nuns come to mind. Are they biologically broken? Less evolved than those who look for mates and want kids?
    3. Does ANYONE here look for a mate based on supposed unconscious clues as to their genes/health in relation to possible children you might or might not have with them?

    I personally don’t want kids. I’m 30, and I’ve never cared for children, and can say with 99.5% certainty I will never have kids. Thus- children is the last thing on my mind when choosing a “mate.” Furthermore- I’ve chosen to remain abstinent until marriage. Which clearly shows I’m not thinking of sex at all when looking for a companion. Since I don’t have sex, sex doesn’t figure into the equation whatsoever. Does that alone prove that life isn’t all about having kids…and it’s certainly not about finding a good sex partner or a partner who might give you healthy kids when so many of us have NO desire to ever have kids and will spend obscene amounts of money on drugs, condoms, abortions, etc. to PREVENT these children that evobio claims is the point of life?

    The point of life is to have kids and further your genes…except when the point is to spend tons of money to prevent the

  12. Hello,

    Many of you seem to be criticizing this study, but do not seem to be questioning the actual results of this study. Specifically, the result that women find men more attractive if it appears that another woman finds that man attractive.

    Evolutionary theory has a reasonable explanation for this observation – the sexy sons hypothesis. Now this may not be correct, but it is one possible explanation.

    What does ID offer as an explanation for this observation ? That this feature of behavior is designed ?

    Secondly, I have been wondering this for a while: how can ID explain the fact that males have a higher sex drive than females and that females are the choosy sex. Men would sleep around much more if it were not for the constraint that women provide. Why is this ?

    Evolutionary theory explains this based on the fact that the cost of reproduction is much higher for a female. For a male, there is nearly no cost.

    Does ID propose that humans (and many other species) were designed this way ?

    I would like to hear your thoughts.

    Thanks.

  13. I couldn’t help but laughing at the title of this tred, but mostly at the content. How much does it pay to be an evolutionary psychologist?

  14. The results of this study show that people are influenced by the opinions of others, both verbal and non verbal. This is not new.

    This does not provide confirmation that Random Mutation and Natural Selection provide the origin of this finding.

    Extrapolating findings like this usually involves mere speculations and ill structured logic. Conclusions are often emphatic where they should be tentative at best.

  15. idnet.com.au.,

    Perhaps this result is intuitive to many, but it is good that someone tested it to demonstrate it scientifically.

    And yes, it does not provide confirmation about it’s evolutionary origin.

    However, evolutionary theory provides at least one explanation for this observation.

    My question: Does ID explain this observation as it being designed this way ?

    Thanks.

  16. Perhaps a bit off-topic, but how is ID and evolution really that different? I can line of up stack of dominoes (ID) and can knock them over (evolution). I think the answer is both is right. The ID’er is that good of an ID’er!

  17. #12 bdelloid: What does ID offer as an explanation for this observation ? That this feature of behavior is designed ?

    There is no need for ID to offer an explanation for this observation. Instead of evolution ID doesn’t explain everything we observe.
    I believe that this kind of behaviour is easily explained by the intelligence of the woman in question.

  18. The headline claims too much.

    The problem of beauty is only superficially dealt with between the sexes.

    Just like conscienceness, TOE doesn’t explain the beauty in a sunset or seascape.

  19. bdelloid: “Many of you seem to be criticizing this study, but do not seem to be questioning the actual results of this study. Specifically, the result that women find men more attractive if it appears that another woman finds that man attractive.”

    If you see lots of people in a restuarant, you infer that the food is good or the service is fantastic. This inference is generally rewarded, because all humans like tasty food and helpful service. Why is random mutation and natural selection needed to explain this? Doesn’t it make just as much sense that a designer might use a similar mechanism to insure that humans get good food?

  20. 20

    I think the idea that men sleep around a lot (more so than women, in general) because the hardship of reproduction is greater on women than men makes no sense for most people.

    Simply because most people sleep around with the abject goal of doing everything humanly possible to NOT reproduce. I don’t know too many that sleep around, with the goal of making babies. No one has an extramarital affair to make kids. The business of contraception brings in billions. So, you first have to question the bold claim that people have sex to make babies, when in fact MOST sexual encounters across the globe are for pleasure, and most of these encounters include the active decision to avoid reproduction at all costs. Men and women both have surgeries to make sure they can’t have children (why would a man get his tubes tied, go out and have sex, yet we’re still stuck with the claim that sex is for baby making?) I don’t think anyone is really saying that reproduction is always the goal of sex…but the theories of better genes for better babies falls apart when you look at sex as an act of pleasure. If your goal is to avoid babies, you don’t pick a mate based on some aspect of their physical appearance that portrays “good genes.” That much is obvious.

    As for ID- I don’t think that ID, or ANY theory has to explain or even TRY to explain every facet of everything that has ever existed. NDE does this everyday. You can find stories daily that claim to find a Darwinian explanation for, literally, EVERYTHING. Sex, beauty, kindness, altruism, rape, cheating, gambling, the stock market, and on and on and on…

  21. 21

    One aspect I forgot to mention-

    I’ve known girls who have had literally dozens of sex partners (and no babies), yet I’ve known some guys who have been with one girl their entire life. Sure- you’re more likely to see a man having more partners than a woman…but this isn’t universal- all people are different. Which is another reason I don’t think theories like this can even touch “mating” in regards to reproduction. How can a theory purport to explain why men have many more sex partners than women…when there are millions of men who have few partners while millions of women have dozens or more. Does NDE theory attempt to explain 1. why men aren’t as choosy and have more sex…except when 2. a large group of women aren’t as choosy and have more sex than men?

    Seems like these theories have built-in contingency sub-theories for every exception to the rule.

  22. Russ,

    So I understand: You are saying that the designer designed humans in such a way, specifically, to enhance the ability of women to find a desirable spouse using available information. The idea here, being, that humans are designed, in part, to achieve some measure of life satisfaction.

    OK, that seems reasonable.

    Taking it from there, how does ID explain the fact that the average man has a stronger sex drive than the average woman (keeping in mind there are exceptions) ?

  23. JasonTheGreek,

    For what it’s worth, the average numbers of partners for women must equal the average number of partners for men (assuming strict hetero partnerships and a 50:50 sex ratio).

    If a properly done survey indicates that the average number of partners for men is higher than the number of partners for women, then someone is lying. Probably the men !

  24. 24

    bdelloid

    the fact that men on average have a stronger sex drive than women does nothing to vindicate darwinian theory of natural selection and random mutation.

    average people and scholars have known this as fact of life since antiquity.

    would you be open to explanations outside of materialist orthodoxy?

  25. 25

    i think rampant promiscuity has alot to do with the sex obsessed culture we live in.

  26. bdelloid, “if a properly done survey indicates that the average number of partners for men is higher than the number of partners for women, then someone is lying. Probably the men !”

    Careful surveys show that men exaggerate their sexual partner count. Guess you were right. However, it appears that women also underreport their sexual partner count. Nope, seems both genders are a bit weak on truthfulness.

  27. The whole idiotic concept of Darwinism, is that everything, literally everything, in life has only one “purpose” – reproduction. Itself also purposeless.

    Underlying Darwinism is the concept that there is no ultimate purpose to anything.

    Yet another bland and futile Darwinist dullard idea that no one believes – including Dawkins; for if Dawkins believed that, he would not be wasting time writing useless books and doing useless “science”.
    If any of this poppycock pseudo-science were true then he and all other Darwinists would spend all their fruitless lives seeking mates to reproduce. The stats reveal that Darwinist high priests don’t reproduce much. Go figure.

    They reduce everything in life to a mere bio-chemical accident.

    I find bdelloid‘s questions perfectly pointless and vain. As though some mysterious explanation were required in the first place.

    “Specifically, the result that women find men more attractive if it appears that another woman finds that man attractive….What does ID offer as an explanation for this observation ? That this feature of behavior is designed ?”

    The very question pre-supposes that the results require some explanation other than free choice. Nonsense.

    It also implies that the result is some sort of unconscious, involuntary consequence of genetic makeup – rather than choice based on jealousy or rivalry or whatever.

    Ages-old life knowledge now brought back by Darwinist addleheads to try to diminish to some boring bio-chem reaction – thus reducing the will and the soul to feckless voids.

    As always. Evolutionary psychologists are not scientists, nor are their nonsense theories science. Like Thornhills “rape is an evo adaptation” bull.

    They themselves are either intellectual drones or mere snollygosters looking to make an easy buck off the heads of the gullible or braindead.

  28. Borne, I wholeheartedly agree with your tyrade. If darwinism, then why the heck would Dawkins care that we acknowledged darwinism? What difference does it make!

  29. Alcohol and dim lights can change one’s perspective on beauty.

    “Beer, helping ugly people get ‘some’ for over 1000 tears.”

  30. years, not tears- D’oh

  31. Next on “Oprah” –

    How to take advantage of Evolutionary principles in order to win the man of your dreams.

  32. Next on “Dr. Phil” –

    How to recognize when desperate women are using Evolutionary principles in attempting to corner you into marriage.

  33. JasonTheGreek wrote:

    “I’ve known girls who have had literally dozens of sex partners (and no babies), yet I’ve known some guys who have been with one girl their entire life.”

    Me too. I know women who sleep around like the end of the world is coming, and if a pregnancy occurs, then an abortion occurs shortly after. These generalizations about men sleeping around more than women are just wrong I think. Personally, I just think men “exaggerate” the truth a little/lot when it comes to number of sex partners – and women tend to do the opposite.

  34. Douglas

    How to recognize when desperate women are using Evolutionary principles in attempting to corner you into marriage.

    I think that the “it’s women who want to get married” is a steriotype as well. I have met a lot of men who are highly interested in getting married, and have met my share of women who are not.

  35. bFast,

    I agree, and that was one of the stereotypes I was attempting to “skewer” (since it is obvious to the Darwinist that marriage is an evolutionary adaptation).

  36. 36

    Personally, I think it’s an issue of humans being very complicated and very unpredictable. Some people do things for pleasure that most of us would find confusing at best and disgusting at worst. How do you craft a theory that can cover every facet of every subgroup in a population, when the different groups and people are SO varied? These simple ‘you do this and this because your ingrained desire to reproduce’ just don’t fit most of us…NDE will always come up with an exception. Men are dominant over women, except when the woman are dominant over the men. Families show love to each other, except when they kill each other. Our genes have programmed us to help strangers in mortal danger, except when we freely choose to drive by and let someone else worry about the woman being attacked on the side of the road. Everything and nothing are what these simple ideas explain.

  37. some of this evopsych stuff would be less disturbing if we could accept that humans have a dual nature: we are spiritual beings who incarnate in a physical body for the purpose of development. The physical body has much in common with the animal, but in the human, the rulership is in the spirit. So this duality means that there is no real need to deny that instinctual or animistic type behaviors exist. It would be strange if they didn’t. Rather, it is the responsibility of the individual to make the spirit the leader in all things, a leadership which quickly and soundly trumps the strictly material limits of the animal body with the far more uplifting and expansive life of the spirit: love over lust, altruism over self-seeking, true nobility over mere physical beauty. Etc.

  38. 30

    Joseph

    “years, not tears- D’oh”

    No, Joseph, ‘tears’ works just fine…sigh.

    How about a study on how women see a man when another obviously tipsy, (relatively) unattractive woman smiles at him?

  39. I’m siding with Post #7. i.e. “This study seems to detect self evident truth. Any cursory consideration of changes in fashion or advertising will reveal how we tend want what we see other people want.” ,

    Even when we don’t want it.

    Was this theme not portrayed in the movie “legally blonde”, where the blonde gets a date for the nerd, by pretending she has been stood up by him.

    chance.

  40. “Why has (the) nature (god) designed women to be so in thrall to the opinion of others?” (added) I find sometimes evolution is nothing but a nature god like those in time past.

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