A Darwinian Theory of Beauty

Submitted by: QueenZira 6 years ago in Science

What do you think I-A-B, agree or disagree?
There are 89 comments:
Male 1,834
nope i don`t think so
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Female 374
I could not listen to this. The dry mouth warbarble noises was just too much.
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Male 133
Yeah that took 15 minutes for him to spit out the last line, which made no sense considering that would basically imply that every single person on the face of the Earth is attracted to and disgusted by the same exact things. Seeing as though, as some people put it, he was both correct, and incorrect in his theory, it took him 15 minutes to explain something that I`m sure everyone who watched it already knew. Seems to me they`re (don`t ask me who "they" are..speakers, I guess?) are going to this whole "clever drawing along with speech" idea to mask the fact that it`s just a bunch of nonsense, which I suppose it does well because I sat through all 15 minutes and didn`t realize until minute 15 that he was feeding us a bunch of bull crap generalizations and ideas that could have been put out by any high school stoner.
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Male 4
An engaging talk, and a wonderful illustrator. But I`m not convinced by the argument. I take for granted that baby-like features (roundish, small, big eyes) have an innate effect on us: it`s called neoteny. But that`s "cuteness", not beauty, exactly - it makes us want to take care of something despite its obvious flaws (dirty diapers and decreased mobility). There`s certainly an evolutionary underpinning to attractiveness as well (symmetry, health, youth & status are sexy). I can even consider that something “done well” might be beautiful for the same evolutionary reasons. That would suggest that USEFUL artistry (like an axe or a chair) would be more beautiful than USELESS artistry (music or sculpture), and that is dubious. But his explanation of the beauty of the vista – the most archetypically beautiful thing he discussed - cannot be correct. He forgets that we also find such beauty in the uninviting: deserts, arctic seas, storms, & tigers.
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Male 347
wow.. is this speech being made at beakman`s world?
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Male 661
I thought this was a fantastic lecture. Well delivered points and ideas, something I will definitely give thought to.

P.S. it is pronounced Van Goghk, like klingon. The dude was dutch, it`s a common sound in the dutch language, not Van Go as anglaphones tend to pronounce it.
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Female 44
interesting...watched the whole thing... he has a good point... guy drawing was really good...
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Male 975
Too long to watch but you thought you would take the time out to post about it being too long?
I know TLDW only takes 3 seconds to type, but seriously c`mon.

To the topic.
He`s right, and then he`s wrong. I don`t think people can say that beauty is entirely evolutionary.
Beauty is not entirely in the eye of the beholder either.

Also how do we draw the lines between liking, loving, and being fascinated by something?
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Male 208
agreed with landfill, my time is precious when i come to IAB
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Male 23
Too long. Did not watch.
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Male 155
handaxes as tools that became less functional and more athstetic. i hear people say that about macs. coincidence?
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Male 155
TARDIS @ 3:28! i paused the video to scroll down and declare WIN! back to it.
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Male 17,512
AnImbroglio: I`m saying that beauty is beauty because of it`s rarity. Things that were once thought to be hideous when they were originally made are now considered beautiful because they are rare, Which blows his explanation right out of the water, imho.
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Male 196
Transcription is on TED.com along with similr videos. Nice to see something that doesn`t involve dumb people injuring/demeaning themselves
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Male 68
So how do you explain being amazed by snowy and dessert landscapes (just look at the wallpapers attatched to Windows XP or Vista), which are surely not surviving-friendly. Also, why is pooty pop and rnb music more popular than classic stuff? It`s certainly not done well, and it could be performed and created by a deaf retard.
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Male 985
Intellect increased by 15!
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Male 4,290
inaria: I agree. In fact, there is a chart for it.

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Male 759
Lost me when he said "Van Gock [sic]"
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Female 261
Oh good, I`m not the only one who couldn`t listen to the whole thing because of his mouth noises...although I did make it almost halfway through. Wonder if there`s a transcription of it somewhere.
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Male 179
meh, i think it`s crap. on a personal note, i don`t find the `savanna` pictures appealing, i find them sterile and disturbing.
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Female 1,008
I had to stop halfway through the fourth minute because of that horrible mouth smacking noise.
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Female 264
TLDNW
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Female 1,515
@Caretta I think it`s ingrained in our evolution because of the design of our own babies. Large eyes, big heads and little bodies makes us swoon as a whole because that`s what our babies look like. It gives us an emotional attachment to the baby and makes us want to take care of it more. It`s also why we love cats and bunnies and puppies, because they have similar proportions to human babies.
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Female 99
The sound of spit in his mouth drove me crazy and I had to stop about five minutes in. But it was pretty interesting.
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Male 515
I`m glad I`m not the only one happy about the Doctor Who reference.
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Male 478
The speaker`s mouth smacking is driving me nuts.
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Male 1,625
=)
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Male 10
TARDIS! Geek! Love it!
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Male 10,440
I`ve seen this video before, and I completely agree.

All should watch it, as it applies to everyone.
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Female 26
Dr. Who reference!!!!!!!!!!!!! Woo!
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Male 40,326
[quote]Meeting of the smartest peoples of every field imaginable,[/quote]
Oh thanks @tn11! You`re too kind! I think I`m blushing...
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Male 633
It brings a tear to the eye.
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Female 3,001
his lisp really annoyed me, however loved the doctor who reference :D (3.27 ish)

he goes on a tad...
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Female 92
I liked this, but I would still prefer a lecture from Al Gore about....

MANBEARPIG :O
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Male 2,056
the sounds his saliva was making REALLY BUGGED ME. im sorry but i have to come back to this later. he really needs a goddamn drink
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Male 106
That was one beautiful lecture.
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Male 199
Did anyone else notice the almost "squishy" noise he made while he was talking? Bugged the crap outta me.
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Male 694
This is awesome. Also, `too` is spelled wrong at 11:11. Also also, DW reference!
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Male 358
I love ted talks. They`re all amazing.
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Male 541
@GRadde

I was about to make that same point. To a certain extent, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" still applies.

Good video though.
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Male 87
Ignorance may play some part as well. Past experiences may cloud the judgement of how beautiful something is on a relative scale.

And doctor who reference at 3:30ish
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Male 25,417
bravo!
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Male 2,552
Aw crap. I didn`t see it until now. And I thought I had paid extra attention to the character count. Oh well, here`s my last sentence, completed (for those of you who will read it. Because you are out there, aren`t you, mythical Reader?).

"On a lighter note: right at the 7:00 mark, I thought he was going to say "the magnetic pull of a beetle." ^^
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Male 247
@ChainsawNbud: People with "bad taste" is just said to be bad because of society. You can apply it to race, religion or sexuality too. Someone supposedly treating a baby or child "wrong" is fine in their eyes and maybe fine in another country or certain societies.
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Male 1,598
People who are afraid of 15 minute videos are not truly bored... (2 minutes at the end is advertising anyway)

This was great and thought-provoking. Good conversation starter, too.
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Male 11
Interesting video, but it seems like a lot of opinion and speculation to me. For instance, the assumption that some hand axes were too large for use does not take into account that some evidence has shown that prehistoric man was much stronger than modern man, capable of what we would now consider super-human tasks. I tend to believe that culture and personal experience both have a huge impact on our definition of beauty. Beauty is most definitely in the eye of the beholder.
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Male 94
Well done Ted. Very attractive work.
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Male 2,419
@Calummac
watching videos longer than 2 minutes gives you panic attacks? you should get that checked out
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Male 7,813
yes, we went over this to a certain extent in my evolution class.
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Male 741
Intelligent and thought-provoking.

BUT...if the basic concepts of beauty are natural to all humans, why do my next door neighbors have such nasty disgusting taste in almost everything?
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Male 77
mts2457, [quote]So are ads like built into the videos now?[/quote]

nah, TED`s been doing that since forever. At least they turned down the volume of the intro!
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Male 2,796
Very hard for me to get through. I am a little OCD when it comes to the moist smacking of the mouth when people are eating and talking. That, along with his heavy breathing and his higher pitched, yet scratchy voice, played on my nerves like a poorly played violin.
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Male 1,587
does anyone else get the feeling, while watching TED talks, that, this is our future. It is by doing things like this that we will further man kind. Meeting of the smartest peoples of every field imaginable, getting together to share knowledge. It kinda gives me the chills.
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Female 2,228
Helgarin, I took your advice and looked up your piece, it is quite pleasant. Myself though, I`m quite a fan of Ave Maria, it`s a love letter to a mother, the best of mothers. Beauty found in skill, as they say...
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Female 535
So are ads like built into the videos now?
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Male 40,326
3:30 it`s what I`ve been saying for years: it all goes back to our cave-man days! lolz! I`m a genius too!
I didn`t get past 8:30 tho, perhaps later...
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Male 2,552
I loved this! Intellectual, well made, and with good points, too.
Also: "something done well." I like that phrasing, because it leaves room for interpretation, to a large extent; what I see as "well done" isn`t necessarily what you might consider to be well done, or at least not as well done.
I`m pretty sure that this is an obvious point to many of you; I love clean designs, minimalistic but powerful music, and clear tastes, and you might be completely in love with designs combining wildly different styles in seemingly reckless abandon, heavy metal or psychadelic music, and either mild or subtle tastes. I greatly appreciate photorealistic paintings, whereas you might fall head over heels for a Picasso.
My goal was merely to point out that even with this in mind, a lot of beauty is still in the eye of the beholder, culturally conditioned or not.

On a lighter note: right at the 7:00 mark, I thought he was going to say "the magnetic pull of
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Male 769
Do you know what`s beautiful? YOU. You`re beautiful x
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Male 1,929
Makes me think of a Rube Goldberg machine. Imagine someone accidentally setting off a long unintended chain reaction and it comes across as... funny, as much as anything. But if you know that it`s deliberate and that someone has made it, when you watch it work it actually looks quite beautiful.
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Female 536
I thought his argument was a bit of a stretch, but it was interesting and thought provoking. And of course, I love the illustrative drawings! Helps me pay attention and remember more.
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Male 881
@AnImbroglio, it`s what we expect from him. His last logical argument was probably around 1978.
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Female 614
very well done illustrations, and nice speech to listen to.

and dont worry, crakrjack is just a troll, he proves that everytime there`s anything worth commenting on on iab.
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Male 2,220
17 minutes? Ack. Next.
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Male 1,222
Agree with sumrandom1, posting thing like these will surely keep people like calummac away, thus making this site a bit more intelligent and less flame-wared
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Male 540
Though the illustration was nice enough, I found it somewhat distracting, and I`d have preferred to watch just the video of the man making the speech.
I`m a big fan of TED, and this was an interesting talk - infact, a related question has been bugging me for some time:

Why do we perceive baby animals as cute?

Specifically those such as wild dogs, large cats, even crocodiles and hippos.
Surely, viewing a baby predator/otherwise dangerous animal as attractive is counter to an individual`s likelihood of survival, since it increases the chances of them getting into a dangerous situation.
I guess that conversely it makes sense for the predator, but that doesn`t really account for dangerous non-predators.
It`s a curious thing.
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Female 2,509
So what did anyone else think about the drawing the represented "hairstyles"? It caught me off-guard.
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Male 838
CrakrJak... Are you really trying to make an argument that, because ugliness exists in the majority, that we don`t appreciate beauty? Really? Because if so, that has to be the single dumbest argument I`ve ever heard. Props.
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Male 352
I liked it, pretty good. It`s basically saying we find things beautiful that are visual displays of craftsmanship, and I can see that. Beauty is, after all, supposed to be inspiring and conveys ideas. Even beautiful landscapes are artistic, in that they convey ideas on comfort, serenity, peace, etc.
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Male 976
TED needs to show up more often on IAB, fantastic site!
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Male 191
interesting
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Male 409
I liked it, and I find this topic interesting. My only complaint it that is was short on real information (likely because it was meant for a broad audience).

This is related to the `selfish gene` idea popular in anthropology and psychology, we find things attractive in other people that relate to the survivability of any potential offspring; men find youth, body shape, and good hair attractive in women and women find strength and wealth attractive in men.
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Male 4,745
You gotta love TED!
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Male 341
Far too long. I had a panic attack after the first two minutes
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Male 794
this was very cool, stepping up your game IAB, appealing to a higher intelligence audience, mad props, now im just expecting to see more puke and ppl breaking stuff, and bad parenting pictures, but this is a nice slow step in a interesting direction, thanks for the post
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Male 1,237
@Greg if you`re being pedantic it is pronounced "Hockh" phonetically but whenever anyone american or english says ether it just inexplicably irritates me...
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Female 281
Okay his voice annoyed me too much to keep watching it... x-o
I could hear his... spit? moving around or whatever and it grossed me out. xP
Cool drawings and very interesting, though...
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Female 1,515
That was interesting
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Male 506
That was a really nice, well spoken lecture. Adored the animations that came along with it but were a little distracting.

I generally agree that the concept of `beauty` was created and manipulated through generations of human advancement since you see this with language or modern technologies.

The idea of art and beauty in ways, lead human advancement is quite ramarkable really.

On the note of beauty, I think everyone should listen to this piece of music :)

Ludovico Einaudi - Nuvole Bianche
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Female 850
good god its so boring.
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Male 17,512
Total rubbish. Because there is a lot more ugliness in the world than beauty.
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Male 271
Jowsh... thats how its prononounced mate.
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Male 39,572
blah blah blah
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Male 1,237
Gogh* ;P
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Male 1,237
I hate it when people pronounce Van Gough "Van Gockhh".. Interesting talk though!
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Male 7,378
So did TED steal the animator for RSA? RSA is now boring talking heads and TED is now interesting whiteboard animation like RSA used to be.
They should do one of these animations on originality and idea theft.
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Male 3,076
I want that hand at school, it would make everything much more interesting!
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Male 330
Not as good as that one on education IMO
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Female 635
I was about to click away when I saw the TARDIS. It made me smile, at least!
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Female 2,228
Link: A Darwinian Theory of Beauty [Rate Link] - What do you think I-A-B, agree or disagree?
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