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Anuraag Reddy

AIESEC India

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Facial Beauty is unique to Humans and supports the accelerated proliferation of Intellectual traits.

We have been evolving our cognitive ability many folds in the past 500,000 years. Such a leap in cognition is unique to our species and unprecedented in the history of earth itself.

Certain higher Primates and Humans have evolved a rather complex ability to recognize faces and highly correlate facial beauty to sexual attractiveness.

Since Facial Beauty neither predicts the sexual potency or the success of inherent traits, I believe it acts as a badge or indicator of something more hidden such as the cognitive capacity.

Advantageous yet hidden traits in males are more likely to be passed on to more aesthetically appealing females, and so better looking females are more likely to choose better genes.

This could be associated with a metaphor of a gift in a package where in every generation the better gift is being slowly sorted into a better a package. Until our standards of beauty are more or less sure that the best package has the best gift, although it may not necessarily be so. But the better package is appealing to most of us.

I am not sure to what extent this proposition is new, or if natural selection proposes this. I am assuming the role of beauty and its evolutionary significance goes beyond just appealing to the opposite sex and this could explains why beauty is such a sort after attribute.

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    Jun 9 2011: Maybe I'm dense, but I fail to see the connection, to be honest. Can you please elaborate a bit more on how is it that by selecting the most attractive partner you are actually choosing the most intelligent one? From my understanding of natural selection, limited as it may be, by using beauty as criteria the only thing you can be sure to pass on to the next generation is beauty itself, nothing else.
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      Jun 10 2011: Lets believe humans are somewhere in between tournament species and pair bonding species.

      A1 is a male genetically predisposed to certain thinking patterns which may be competitively successful.

      Having proven his success, a male can choose from a female X1, Y1 and Z1. One who is considered beautiful either through his social conditioning, as suggested the golden mean.

      Soon, traits leading to successful thinking patterns are passed on to individuals closer to the golden mean and exhibit developmental symmetry.

      One of the second generation Males, say A2 exhibits both competitive success and is closer to the golden mean. Now he behaves more as a tournament species and proliferates his genes into as many females as possible X2, Y2 and Z2.

      This is how I propose traits causing more adaptable/successful thinking patterns are bridged closer to the accepted standards of beauty. And our recognition and emphasis on facial beauty may have vastly contributed to this acceleration in the evolution of cranial development and activity.

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