Eric Watt Forste wrote:
> Robin Hanson apparently wrote:
> > I have hope that evolutionary psychology is onto some insights into
> > why we have evolved to be the sort of creatures who like to do art.
> > Hopefully these insights will help explain many of these puzzling
> > details.
> It has long been my opinion that human artistic behavior is primarily
> a product of sexual selection, not natural selection. People who
> can sing, paint, draw, dance, etc. in a very pleasing way give
> evidence of having sufficient wealth (in the form of leisure time)
> to be attractive mates.
I've also come to the same conclusion, from a completely different starting point - I observe that in most/many/all cases where there's a perception of "beauty", it seems to be involved in attracting mates - poetry (typical lovesick behavior, I hear), music (rock bands and groupies), even humor (top response on "What do you want in a husband?" questionaires: "A sense of humor"), and of course the obvious case of the "beauty" of a female/male form. In my opinion, most of the "mysterious" beauty - the beauty that people claim mere computer programs will never see; i.e., poetry, music, and humor - is the result and insignia of sexual selection.
On the other hand, I know of at least one case where the flow of causality is reversed - flowers may be used to woo the fair, but flowers are (started out as being?) beautiful because they indicate healthy foraging grounds. So it's by no means certain.
-- firstname.lastname@example.org Eliezer S. Yudkowsky http://pobox.com/~sentience/tmol-faq/meaningoflife.html Running on BeOS Typing in Dvorak Programming with Patterns Voting for Libertarians Heading for Singularity There Is A Better Way