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       The stratification of attraction

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mjd1982

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I guess people here are familiar with evolutionary psychology- the theories that illustrate how evolution has formed the most basic principles of human behaviour and interaction? This has been used by the likes of Dawkins, Pinker et al to illustrate why parents love their children, the self interested altruism that governs social relations, and many other social dynamics that get taken for granted.

There is one issue that I have extended this notion to, and that is the stratification of physical attraction. I know this may sound very unpleasant and obnoxious, but why is it that an unattractive people end up with other unattractive people, and attractive people end up with other attractive people, with no real variance in happiness or fulfillment in either instance? I think, basically, that humans have developed the capacity of awareness of their own attractiveness, and then the capacity to be able to settle for someone who is of an equal level, even though many other people would be incapable of doing the same. This is because a gene that recognises attractiveness with a primarily objective slant would die out, since unattractive bearers would be less likely to procreate.

I have written about this in lots of depth here ; interested to hear your thoughts.



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Posts: 4 | Posted: 12:44 PM on April 17, 2009 | IP
Apoapsis

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Quote from mjd1982 at 11:44 AM on April 17, 2009 :
There is one issue that I have extended this notion to, and that is the stratification of physical attraction. I know this may sound very unpleasant and obnoxious, but why is it that an unattractive people end up with other unattractive people, and attractive people end up with other attractive people, with no real variance in happiness or fulfillment in either instance?


You've obviously not run into the women's group my wife belongs to.  I call them "beautiful women with nerd husbands".  ;-)



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Pogge:” This is the volume of a sphere with a 62 kilometer (about 39 miles) radius, which is considerably smaller than the 2,000 mile radius of the Earth.”
Wikipedia:” For Earth, the mean radius is 6,371.009 km(≈3,958.761 mi; ≈3,440.069 nmi).”
Wisp to Lester (on Pogge): Do you admit he was wrong about the basics?
Lester: No

 


Posts: 1747 | Posted: 1:18 PM on April 17, 2009 | IP
wisp

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I'm not familiar with literature about the subject, but i have given the subject a lot of thought by myself. Specially when it comes to sex.

I know you don't want to sound obnoxious. It's not really that much about humans (whose situation gets complicated because of cultural, and almost random traits, hard to take into account).

I use game theory and laws of the market (about which, again, i haven't read) to analyze what i see, and make predictions.

Put simply, i assume the goal to be the highest number of viable offspring (and not that simply, i assume that each gene has its own goal, of making more copies of itself).

Men and women must have different strategies for that.
The fact that humans make a partnership to raise the children makes things a lot more complex.

A woman must have to be really careful when having sex.

To sum up, an "ugly" woman has two choices: settle for a not so good man that will help her raise their children (and make him believe that ALL of their children are his), or to give up any chance of male collaboration, have children with the best men that can knock her up, and try to raise the children by herself.

The genes must tell each person to look at themselves, and analyze the response they provoke in other humans, and make an estimate of his/her attractiveness.
With that in mind, he/she should go out to the market and try to make the best possible deal.

And yes, it seems disgusting.

And, Apoapsis, i would like to know women like that.



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Quote from Lester10 at 2:51 PM on September 21, 2010 in the thread
Scientists assert (by Lester):

Ha Ha. (...) I've told you people endlessly about my evidence but you don't want to show me yours - you just assert.
porkchop
Would we see a mammal by the water's edge "suddenly" start breathing underwater(w/camera effect of course)?
Contact me at youdebate.1wr@gishpuppy.com
 


Posts: 3037 | Posted: 7:01 PM on April 17, 2009 | IP
wisp

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This also goes to explain why mothers, in general, love their children more than fathers. Whereas mothers are limited in the number of times they can pass on their genes (once every 9 months for a period of 20-odd years), fathers are not limited in the same way. Thus a gene that makes fathers loving towards their children, while favourable, will not be nearly so necessary, because the father is not constrained in the number of children he can produce. (...)

The coherence of this theory is such that it even extends to explaining the relations that non nuclear families have with their relations. So it is a simple extension of the mother/father theory, that a gene in a mother’s brother that allows for a greater protectiveness of the mother’s child should be more prevalent than that same gene in a father’s brother, for exactly the same reasons as why such a gene should be more prevalent in a mother than in a father.
It leaves aside an important factor: the mother (and all her family) knows that the child is hers.

Women in your family are to be protected because they are (almost) certain sources of copies for your genes.

Women in your family have to be protected from sex too. Men aren't. We want men in our families to be as promiscuous as possible (with the limit that they should not hit on my girl).

My brothers' offspring are not so valuable to me not because my brother can have lots of children, but because i'm not that sure they are HIS.

If i was certain, they would be just as valuable to me as my sisters' children.

This means that your maternal uncle will be more loving towards you than your father’s uncle. Is this true for you?
Not really. My father's family always loved me. Each and every one of them.
Not so much from my mother's side. Something patriarchal and chauvinist i think.

Culture can overrun some evolutionary logical psychological traits.

Even sexual capriciousness is something that is easily explained by evolutionary psychology. Why are men inherently more promiscuous than women? It’s because women, with limited “capacity” in terms of the number of children they can create, need to be guarded in terms of who they copulate with. A promiscuous gene amongst women would be less favourable to survival than a “coy” gene, since if the gene is to survive, it is important that the father is well vetted, and will be able to help bring up the child when it is born.
Not necessarily. If the woman considers herself so undesirable that she won't get any good enough male to stay by her side to raise her children... I mean, there's some blurry point where it becomes better for her to have sex with the best males without hope that they will stay with her. And then raise the children by herself.

(She might try to get good males to help her, but something tells her it's unlikely.)

It will be difficult, but they will be better children than if she settled for a weak tiny toothless man who would help her raise their weak children.

I'd predict that we should see more of this strategy in regions abundance of food (so the risk of raising children by herself is not that serious).

THE MORE YOU KNOW:
Females normally want to have as many suitors as she may get before making her final choice. If one of them loses interest, she will try to keep his attention by whatever means, except giving him sex (or being seen with him).
They will try to get other females' suitors by indicating that they (the other females) are promiscuous and ugly.
If you have two females that have a good relation (they are friends), they will nevertheless be thrilled if any male says anything good about her in comparison with her friend.

For men, they are more promiscuous than females, since they are not limited in their child creating capacity, so a gene serving to make the male coy would essentially have no purpose, and this is why it is a trait that is seen so rarely.
If what you said before about females was strictly true, males would hardly find any females with whom to practice their promiscuity.

For men, they are more promiscuous than females, since they are not limited in their child creating capacity, so a gene serving to make the male coy would essentially have no purpose, and this is why it is a trait that is seen so rarely.
Very true. I have this stupid trait. I need a girl to be special. Haha! Sad but true. Some gene misfired and thought it was in a woman.

Make no mistake though! If every woman in your family seems special enough for me, beware. ;)

Why are humans selfish? Because the altruistic gene is not one that is biased towards survival.
Except cases of kin selection. Individual altruism IS observed (genetic altruism, never).

It's my concern that altruism and solidarity will be lost in the modern world, where we have pretty much lost clans.

There are two reasons for altruism:
1) The other person shares a portion of my genes.
2) The other person is someone i will see often, and will pay the favor back.

We don't have much of that.

Why do humans not just go out and kill each other in some mad and explicit rat race for survival? Because any gene that would produce such a behaviour would never last, since the bearer would be identified and killed by the rest of his society.
That might be true about humans, but not about many other animals that compete, and yet don't kill each other.

The true reason is a little bit more complex.

Killing a competitor will probably take energy. And there's the risk that my competitor will kill me.

Even if i succeed, i've benefited myself in the same way that i've benefited my surviving competitors, and i'm weaker than any of them because i've fought.

Killing genes wouldn't get passed.

So this is why human behaviour is a fragile mix of selfishness, and beneficial altruism.
You have given no account for altruism.
Pure altruism alone is something that is very rare to find.
If by pure you mean genetic (a gene that sacrifices itself for the sake of other genes), that's not rare but impossible.
They might misfire though. A mistake.

There will always be exceptions to the norm. For instance a suicidal gene, if arisen in a community, will die out, because it is not adapted to survival- it is a pretty hard gene to pass on from generation to generation. Does this mean that humans will never commit suicide? No, because also within our make up are other capacities that are biased to survival, such as emotions of happiness, as well as pain and depression, which contribute to suicidal tendencies. Nonetheless, the reason why suicide is so rare up to the end of one’s child bearing/producing age at least, is because any gene that would have predisposed the carrier to killing himself would never have survived.
Very true. Except for some exception that i can conceive (sorry, i'm a bit of a prick). If a gene gives you some advantage in youth at the cost of suicidal tendencies in old age.

Sounds weird, but not impossible. Such a gene would be passed. You could be muscular and exhibitionist, and get depressed in old age and commit suicide (after having a lot of children).

I mean, this is pretty much what must happen with aging, right? It's a kind of suicidal.
Why would our bodies want to die?
I suspect that most of our alleles don't want for their vessel to die. But the genes for death got into our genome by giving us some advantage. They must be so advantageous (if my hypothesis is correct) that they are no longer alleles, but permanent genes (must be so, since every species in our family, genus, etc. dies). So they are everywhere. They are not only in individuals, but in families, clans, groups, species, etc.
It's in their best interest to periodically kiss every allele goodbye, and reshuffle them, killing its host.

Well, that's my best explanation for aging and death. I suspect that alleles wouldn't agree with the need for their vessel to die.

All i'm saying is that "would never have survived" sounds a bit too extreme.

But perhaps i'm wrong. Perhaps Medawar was right and things die because of neglect. Since it's unlikely that any organism will survive in the wild for many years (disease, wounds, accidents, starvation...) it's not very important to weed out cumulative mutations that show their effect only after a period when the organism has had enough time to produce offspring.
But i doubt it. We happen to know death genes. Neglect can't account for them.

PS: I share your concerns for humanity. Perhaps we should find and clone genes for solidarity, and other good stuff.



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Quote from Lester10 at 2:51 PM on September 21, 2010 in the thread
Scientists assert (by Lester):

Ha Ha. (...) I've told you people endlessly about my evidence but you don't want to show me yours - you just assert.
porkchop
Would we see a mammal by the water's edge "suddenly" start breathing underwater(w/camera effect of course)?
Contact me at youdebate.1wr@gishpuppy.com
 


Posts: 3037 | Posted: 9:01 PM on April 17, 2009 | IP
wisp

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You've given it some thought by yourself.

I think that's valuable.
And you're good at it. Keep it going!



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Quote from Lester10 at 2:51 PM on September 21, 2010 in the thread
Scientists assert (by Lester):

Ha Ha. (...) I've told you people endlessly about my evidence but you don't want to show me yours - you just assert.
porkchop
Would we see a mammal by the water's edge "suddenly" start breathing underwater(w/camera effect of course)?
Contact me at youdebate.1wr@gishpuppy.com
 


Posts: 3037 | Posted: 10:46 AM on April 21, 2009 | IP
    
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