Archive for the ‘BEAUTY AND THE BEAST’ Category

Are The Fair Folk Being Fair?

Nietzsche made his name with a philological analysis of morality, suggesting that words for good and bad were derived from racial terminology; our language reflects the self-admiration of a blond conqueror people lording it over a subject dark-haired folk. His examples were German, but the multiple meanings of the English ‘fair’ – blond, beautiful and […]

Fisher Contra Zahavi

One of the great debates in evolutionary biology was over whether there could be such a thing as runaway selection processes, or whether apparently daft results of sexual selection nevertheless made evolutionary sense. The classic case was the Argus Pheasant, a species in which the females fancy males in proportion to the length of their […]

Facial Math

Human beauty is not skin-deep, nor yet something invented by “patriarchy”, but something much more important. It varies widely by time and place, but not to an unlimited extent. No group of people, for example, has ever considered short men, old women, wrinkles or weak chins sexually attractive, and it is most unlikely that it […]

Posted on July 17, 2009 at 08:59 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · 2 Comments
In: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, The Myth Of "Inner Beauty"

Abandon Hope, All Ye With Zits

The information that an animal call carries about the quality of the genetic material he is offering can be very precise. The rock hyrax, for example, in different parts of his song provides potential mates with information about his body weight, size, health, social status and hormone levels. Really, after that, what else is to […]

The Morning Face

There is a theory that the big human brain is the end-product of an arms race between skill in deceit and skill in detecting deceit, being optimised for both manipulation and suspicion thereof. On the other hand, while the cosmetics industry is an excellent example of false advertising of genetic fitness, it is not obvious […]

The Rule Of Beauty

The world, they say, obeys the rule of beauty. Everyone falls over themselves to give the beautiful ones whatever they might want. To those that have, more will be given. When confronted with a beautiful person, our desire is always to protect and serve, even when he or she hardly needs our protection and service. […]

Posted on September 4, 2009 at 10:15 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, The Myth Of "Inner Beauty"

Turned On By Specs Alone

Thanks to our mythology of the “inner qualities”, it seems strange to us to fall in love with someone without ever meeting them, as a Provençal troubadour once did. But if beauty is considered to reside in measurable traits like symmetry, proportion and colouring, then there is no reason why it should not be admired […]

Posted on September 11, 2009 at 10:55 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, The Myth Of "Inner Beauty"

Fashion-Conscious Fruit Flies

In fruit flies, the creature whose genetics have been most thoroughly studied, there are a number of cases in which a change in a single gene lowers the male’s reproductive fitness by making his courtship behaviour less effective. One such genetic change, for example, makes the male too aggressive for the female’s taste; another makes […]

Posted on September 22, 2009 at 10:18 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · 2 Comments
In: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, The Myth Of "Inner Beauty"

Dork And Superman

When we learn from modern science that beauty is by no means skin-deep, but a hardwired human response to the outward and visible signs of an inward and genetic soundness of constitution, even being positively correlated with intelligence, then we may begin finally to understand what Nietzsche was trying to say with his Übermensch. Despite […]

Posted on September 29, 2009 at 09:13 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, The Myth Of "Inner Beauty"

Christianity And Beauty

Christianity has not, on the whole, been very serious about breaking with our hardwired assumption that external beauty is an infallible sign of interior merit. If religion were really an escape from the tyranny of beauty – if religions really meant what they said about the “spirit”, the “inner” person (whatever that means) being more […]

Posted on November 24, 2009 at 10:15 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, The Myth Of "Inner Beauty"