Re: Art as adaptation (WAS: Robin's Arts Post)

Eric Watt Forste (
Tue, 28 Sep 1999 11:01:38 -0700

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky apparently writes:
> 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.

Most of the selection pressure on the shapes of the flowers humans tend to select as beautiful results from the need to attract insects for pollination. In some cases, flowers go so far as to mimic insects in mating postures and release bee sex pheromones so as to more effectively exchange pollen with insects. Maybe we just happen to have more tastes in common with bees than we thought; what the bee sees as sexy, we see as pretty.

I'm already confused though. Now we are talking about sexual selection operating among several different kinds of species. Three, in this case.

Eric Watt Forste <>