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Why we lose mental and physical qualities March 30, 2009

Posted by ethnicgenome in Sex Differences.
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There’s a popular belief that evolution only moves forward. We are better than our ancestors a thousand or a million years ago. Such reasoning is wrong.

Life began under water. So how come we can’t survive there anymore? A tail could potentially be valuable, like in a fight, for instance.

Why didn’t we develop a jaw like alligators or a neck like giraffes?

The answer is that any quality that doesn’t help one survive, harms it. All body parts need to be fed. The value of a tail is less than the amount of food needed to feed it.

Consider height and muscle base. Tall, muscular people need to eat more than a 5-foot 100 pound person.

Men who went to hunt on regular basis needed to be very strong or else they couldn’t catch they prey. As farming replaced hunting, men became less strong, but still strong enough to fight war battles.

Women were never hunters or soldiers. For them, being big meant consuming more food and hence, endangering themselves and everyone in their family. As a result, women never developed the physical strength of men. At the same time, they didn’t become completely tiny because they needed to produce viable offspring and at least some physical strength was always needed on farms and around the house. A 3-foot, 35 pound midget would not be of much help.

The same pressures applied to brains. Either something helps you or you will lose/never develop that quality. Your brain eats about 20% of the calories that your whole body consumes. A more powerful brain is a more hungry brain. If your new intellectual ability doesn’t help you survive, it mere forces you to consume more calories.

In a wealthy society, it may sound like a blessing – not only are you smarter, but you will probably be thinner. But being slender is a very modern concern. For most time and even today in most of the world, starvation is a much bigger issue than obesity. Except modern humans in rich countries, nobody else is concerned with dieting, but rather with a constant struggle to feed yourself. Did you ever see a wolf suffering from obesity? An eagle? A shark?

But even for us, consuming more calories for mostly useless physical and mental abilities will eventually become detrimental. You won’t starve just because you developed a tail. Nor will you starve if you, as a man, develop one of the mental abilities that women usually excel at.

But keep on adding abilities, mental and physical, and eventually your body will need to consume so much food, it will never be able to survive.

Another reason you can’t keep adding various qualities is that they conflict with each other. Wide hips allow women to give birth. Narrow hips allow men to run and pivot better when hunting and fighting wars. Naturally you can’t have both wide and narrow hips. Evolution decides which one is more important to you. Hence, women look like women and men look like men, both physically and mentally.

So why do some men have feminine qualities, some women are masculine, some people have abnormalities? Because evolution didn’t happen, it is still ongoing.

First, being “too perfect” resulted in several species dying off as soon as their environment changed. Several species were so perfect for their environment that as their climates became colder, warmer or in any way different, they could not handle the change and failed to survive. Species need to have some genetic diversity and some seemingly negative qualities that would come useful if their environment changes.

Second, for species to adjust, someone needs to be born with new or different qualities. Then we select for or against these qualities. If these qualities are useful in our environment, we find them attractive. If not, we find them unattractive or even abnormal.

Consider metabolism. In a wealthy environment where food is plentiful, we select for fast metabolism. In other times and places, slow metabolism may be desires.

Sociologists claim that since concepts of beauty changes with place and time, this concept is purely subject and has no scientific basis. They are wrong.

The reason beauty concepts change is that evolutionary pressures change. If living beings didn’t have different concepts of beauty, they would never adjust to their environment. But if beauty was anything that the media tells us, then evolution would be highly dysfunctional and would never produce great predators, runners and (among humans) thinkers.

And if beauty is anything that the media dictates without any scientific basis, then sociologists need to explain who told giraffes to find long necks sexually appealing; who told elephants to get turned on by long noses; who told alligators to be aroused by large jaws. Probably not the media.