I am currently reading a book called The Mating Mind by Geoffrey Miller and a psychologist he has an interesting perspective why we developed the minds we have today. In evolutionary perspective it is stated that we gain are intelligence due to the fact that we developed are brains as an evolutionary process, but also thru genetics. Geoffrey Miller is saying that we have developed are minds as has the peacock its tail for attracting potential mates. This perspective essentially is stating that are creativity, leadership, power, status, music, dancing was made for attracting mates.
One of the problems with evolution is that are closest primates did not develop the way we did. ” From a pragmatic biological viewpoint, art and music seem like pointless wastes of energy. Human morality and humor seem irrelevant to the business of finding food and avoiding predators. Moreover, if human intelligence and creativity were so useful, it is puzzling that other apes did not evolve them.” (PG 18) It makes me wonder if are intelligence did in fact develop due to attracting mates. Another examples “on the south side. The Ramble is a 37-acre woodland hosting 250 species of birds. Every spring, they sing to attract sexual partners. Their intricate songs evolved for courtship. Could some of our puzzling human abilities have evolved for the same function?” (Pg 19) there is not a complete answer, but it an interesting theory.
A great example is the peacock tail “The peacock’s tail is the classic example of sexual selection through mate choice. It evolved because peahens preferred larger, more colorful tails. Peacocks would survive better with shorter, lighter, drabber tails. But the sexual choices of peahens have made peacocks evolve big, bright plumage that takes energy to grow and time to preen, and makes it harder to escape from predators such as tigers.” (Pg 19) This idea within itself does not make sense if it comes to survival but it does make sense for attracting another partner. If are brain for animals and humans was for survival and mating then its fits perfect.
The theory that Geoffrey Miller proposes would make sense why we developed certain qualities that other apes did not. The problem that I see with this theory is that as humans if we developed this traits too attract then certain qualities such as empathy for certain individuals if it was survival base would not exist. As humans we developed empathy for mating with individuals who for survival purposes is not logical. Certain people who cause more harm to us than well-being goes against just survival purposes; human beings are complex individuals. Maybe all this theory are all correct in their own way or we are just to complex to understand?
Refrences Miller, Geoffrey. The Mating Mind. New York: Anchor Books, 2001.