Monday, 11 August 2008

Beauty and The Beast

The topic for this post arrived into my head when I was people-watching the French on a beach a couple of weeks ago. I could see the perfect bodies, but then also the imperfections of the behaviour. Why has evolution not equalized and unified the physical beauty in human beings with their intellectual capabilities? After all, beauty is a sign of health and fitness and hence of good genetic predispositions while intelligence could be rated as one of the most important survival qualities. If evolution is preoccupied with the enhancement of the human race for the sake of the survival of the fittest, then shouldn't beauty and IQ not go hand in hand as we breed? In looking for a partner we obviously seek physical attractiveness, but also don't want to spend too much time around people who will make us fall asleep at dinner, so how has this not worked itself out over the millennia?

Life is usually easier for the beautiful ones, so there is less incentive to succeed through self-development and hard work. For the less beautiful ones, on the other hand, developing intelligence and gaining knowledge is often the only route to score in life both on a professional and a personal level. Hmm, will the world be full of supreme humans in a few centuries provided we don't destroy the earth beforehand?


Anonymous said...

In the last bit you answered your own question: physical beauty is the genetic response of the unintelligent; and intelligence is the genetic response of the ugly.

And, ahem, we will not destroy the world before the 'superhuman' had a chance to evolve.

Paulina Wojnar said...

Intelligence cannot be a per se genetic response of the ugly, perhaps a behavioral one. Physical beauty cannot be a genetic response of the unintelligent either, as I believe nature would have no interest in pursuing the survival of unintelligent individuals.

And, ahem, I'm not so sure about the chance to evolve 'superhumans' - it's not just the world we need to protect (and protect ourselves from), but also think about the what-not diseases we may develop in the future.

Anonymous said...

Here's the Beatles' answer to your dilemma about human evolution