March 17, 2009

HERE'S A PRETTY SIMPLE QUESTION...:

ART AND HUMAN REALITY: A Talk With Denis Dutton (Introduction By Steven Pinker, Edge)

What we regard as the modern human personality evolved during the Pleistocene, between 1.6 million and 10,000 years ago. If you encountered one of your direct ancestors from the beginning of the Pleistocene moseying down the street today, you would probably call the SPCA and ask for a crew with tranquilizer darts and nets to cart the beast off to the zoo. If you saw somebody from the end of the Pleistocene, 10,000 years ago, you'd call the Immigration & Naturalization Service—by that time our ancestors wouldn't have appeared much different from any of us today. It is that crucial period, those 80,000 generations of the Pleistocene before the modern period, which is the key to understanding the evolution of human psychology. Features of life that makes us most human—language, religion, charm, seduction, social status-seeking, and the arts—came to be in this period, no doubt especially in the last 100,000 years.

The human personality—including those aspects of it that are imaginative, expressive, and creative—cries out for a Darwinian explanation.


...if art conveys an advantage such that increases your chance of natural selection, then why are so many artists queer?


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Posted by Orrin Judd at March 17, 2009 11:51 AM
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