The best in arts & entertainment, news, pop culture, and your mom since 2002.

[Total: 63    Average: 4.1/5]
89 Comments - View/Add
Hits: 28833
Rating: 4.1
Category: Science
Date: 12/07/10 07:31 AM

89 Responses to A Darwinian Theory of Beauty

  1. Profile photo of QueenZira
    QueenZira Female 18-29
    2228 posts
    December 6, 2010 at 7:41 pm
    Link: A Darwinian Theory of Beauty - What do you think I-A-B, agree or disagree?
  2. Profile photo of KannaLilly
    KannaLilly Female 13-17
    635 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 7:52 am
    I was about to click away when I saw the TARDIS. It made me smile, at least!
  3. Profile photo of FoSchizle
    FoSchizle Male 18-29
    330 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 8:02 am
    Not as good as that one on education IMO
  4. Profile photo of SvampeBob
    SvampeBob Male 18-29
    3076 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 8:04 am
    I want that hand at school, it would make everything much more interesting!
  5. Profile photo of madest
    madest Male 40-49
    7378 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 8:05 am
    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.
  6. Profile photo of Jowsh
    Jowsh Male 18-29
    1237 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 8:07 am
    I hate it when people pronounce Van Gough "Van Gockhh".. Interesting talk though!
  7. Profile photo of Jowsh
    Jowsh Male 18-29
    1237 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 8:07 am
    Gogh* ;P
  8. Profile photo of Gerry1of1
    Gerry1of1 Male 50-59
    36665 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 8:14 am
    blah blah blah
  9. Profile photo of greggpethers
    greggpethers Male 18-29
    271 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 8:16 am
    Jowsh... thats how its prononounced mate.
  10. Profile photo of CrakrJak
    CrakrJak Male 40-49
    17514 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 8:16 am
    Total rubbish. Because there is a lot more ugliness in the world than beauty.
  11. Profile photo of Gleeballs
    Gleeballs Female 18-29
    850 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 8:17 am
    good god its so boring.
  12. Profile photo of Helgarin
    Helgarin Male 18-29
    506 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 8:19 am
    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
  13. Profile photo of inaria
    inaria Female 18-29
    1515 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 8:19 am
    That was interesting
  14. Profile photo of SkyeDragon
    SkyeDragon Female 18-29
    281 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 8:41 am
    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...
  15. Profile photo of Jowsh
    Jowsh Male 18-29
    1237 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 8:45 am
    @Greg if you`re being pedantic it is pronounced "Hockh" phonetically but whenever anyone american or english says ether it just inexplicably irritates me...
  16. Profile photo of SumRandom1
    SumRandom1 Male 18-29
    794 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 8:45 am
    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
  17. Profile photo of Calummac
    Calummac Male 13-17
    341 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 8:50 am
    Far too long. I had a panic attack after the first two minutes
  18. Profile photo of patchouly
    patchouly Male 40-49
    4746 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 9:07 am
    You gotta love TED!
  19. Profile photo of Wundt
    Wundt Male 40-49
    410 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 9:22 am
    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.
  20. Profile photo of pocketmoron
    pocketmoron Male 18-29
    191 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 9:29 am
    interesting
  21. Profile photo of Winter_ICE_0
    Winter_ICE_0 Male 13-17
    976 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 9:36 am
    TED needs to show up more often on IAB, fantastic site!
  22. Profile photo of Thesphinx
    Thesphinx Male 18-29
    353 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 9:37 am
    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.
  23. Profile photo of AnImbroglio
    AnImbroglio Male 30-39
    838 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 9:43 am
    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.
  24. Profile photo of edana42
    edana42 Female 50-59
    2509 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 9:50 am
    So what did anyone else think about the drawing the represented "hairstyles"? It caught me off-guard.
  25. Profile photo of Caretta
    Caretta Male 18-29
    540 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 9:57 am
    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.
  26. Profile photo of MauserTM
    MauserTM Male 18-29
    1222 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 9:58 am
    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
  27. Profile photo of MattPrince
    MattPrince Male 40-49
    2220 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 10:07 am
    17 minutes? Ack. Next.
  28. Profile photo of samidoll
    samidoll Female 18-29
    615 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 10:09 am
    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.
  29. Profile photo of NottaSpy
    NottaSpy Male 40-49
    881 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 10:10 am
    @AnImbroglio, it`s what we expect from him. His last logical argument was probably around 1978.
  30. Profile photo of entwife
    entwife Female 18-29
    536 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 10:12 am
    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.
  31. Profile photo of TopperHey
    TopperHey Male 18-29
    1930 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 10:21 am
    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.
  32. Profile photo of slab-of-rage
    slab-of-rage Male 18-29
    769 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 10:30 am
    Do you know what`s beautiful? YOU. You`re beautiful x
  33. Profile photo of GRadde
    GRadde Male 18-29
    2556 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 10:35 am
    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
  34. Profile photo of 5Cats
    5Cats Male 50-59
    32796 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 10:38 am
    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...
  35. Profile photo of mts2457
    mts2457 Female 18-29
    535 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 10:41 am
    So are ads like built into the videos now?
  36. Profile photo of QueenZira
    QueenZira Female 18-29
    2228 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 10:56 am
    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...
  37. Profile photo of tn11
    tn11 Male 18-29
    1587 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 11:06 am
    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.
  38. Profile photo of splurbyburbl
    splurbyburbl Male 30-39
    2798 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 11:14 am
    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.
  39. Profile photo of chrunchy
    chrunchy Male 30-39
    77 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 11:14 am
    mts2457, So are ads like built into the videos now?

    nah, TED`s been doing that since forever. At least they turned down the volume of the intro!
  40. Profile photo of ChainsawNbud
    ChainsawNbud Male 50-59
    741 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 11:28 am
    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?
  41. Profile photo of cobrakiller
    cobrakiller Male 18-29
    7469 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 11:35 am
    yes, we went over this to a certain extent in my evolution class.
  42. Profile photo of I-IS-BORED
    I-IS-BORED Male 18-29
    2419 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 11:48 am
    @Calummac
    watching videos longer than 2 minutes gives you panic attacks? you should get that checked out
  43. Profile photo of BigMordecai
    BigMordecai Male 18-29
    94 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 11:51 am
    Well done Ted. Very attractive work.
  44. Profile photo of CapnCaveman
    CapnCaveman Male 18-29
    11 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 12:33 pm
    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.
  45. Profile photo of Jasonbobdude
    Jasonbobdude Male 18-29
    1598 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 12:46 pm
    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.
  46. Profile photo of Chojiro
    Chojiro Male 18-29
    247 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 12:46 pm
    @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.
  47. Profile photo of GRadde
    GRadde Male 18-29
    2556 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 12:52 pm
    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." ^^
  48. Profile photo of Fatninja01
    Fatninja01 Male 30-39
    25420 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 1:12 pm
    bravo!
  49. Profile photo of JayElDoubleU
    JayElDoubleU Male 13-17
    87 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 1:15 pm
    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
  50. Profile photo of Webz
    Webz Male 18-29
    542 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 1:23 pm
    @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.
  51. Profile photo of LleetLlama
    LleetLlama Male 18-29
    358 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 1:39 pm
    I love ted talks. They`re all amazing.
  52. Profile photo of GasMaskKid
    GasMaskKid Male 18-29
    694 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 2:07 pm
    This is awesome. Also, `too` is spelled wrong at 11:11. Also also, DW reference!
  53. Profile photo of hammerdrop
    hammerdrop Male 13-17
    199 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 2:16 pm
    Did anyone else notice the almost "squishy" noise he made while he was talking? Bugged the crap outta me.
  54. Profile photo of buscompany
    buscompany Male 18-29
    106 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 2:23 pm
    That was one beautiful lecture.
  55. Profile photo of SomeShoes
    SomeShoes Male 13-17
    2056 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 2:34 pm
    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
  56. Profile photo of Ninabear3
    Ninabear3 Female 18-29
    92 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 2:41 pm
    I liked this, but I would still prefer a lecture from Al Gore about....

    MANBEARPIG :O
  57. Profile photo of ruthless1990
    ruthless1990 Female 18-29
    3001 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 3:07 pm
    his lisp really annoyed me, however loved the doctor who reference :D (3.27 ish)

    he goes on a tad...
  58. Profile photo of ledgehead
    ledgehead Male 40-49
    633 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 3:27 pm
    It brings a tear to the eye.
  59. Profile photo of 5Cats
    5Cats Male 50-59
    32796 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 4:00 pm
    Meeting of the smartest peoples of every field imaginable,
    Oh thanks @tn11! You`re too kind! I think I`m blushing...
  60. Profile photo of ylime_1408
    ylime_1408 Female 13-17
    26 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 4:11 pm
    Dr. Who reference!!!!!!!!!!!!! Woo!
  61. Profile photo of LazyMe484
    LazyMe484 Male 18-29
    10441 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 5:18 pm
    I`ve seen this video before, and I completely agree.

    All should watch it, as it applies to everyone.
  62. Profile photo of telegramsam
    telegramsam Male 30-39
    10 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 5:41 pm
    TARDIS! Geek! Love it!
  63. Profile photo of ElMustache
    ElMustache Male 18-29
    1625 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 5:46 pm
    =)
  64. Profile photo of seabass101dg
    seabass101dg Male 18-29
    478 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 6:25 pm
    The speaker`s mouth smacking is driving me nuts.
  65. Profile photo of HOBOMOE
    HOBOMOE Male 18-29
    515 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 7:37 pm
    I`m glad I`m not the only one happy about the Doctor Who reference.
  66. Profile photo of thisismary
    thisismary Female 18-29
    99 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 7:57 pm
    The sound of spit in his mouth drove me crazy and I had to stop about five minutes in. But it was pretty interesting.
  67. Profile photo of inaria
    inaria Female 18-29
    1515 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 9:08 pm
    @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.
  68. Profile photo of AlANeptune
    AlANeptune Female 18-29
    264 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 9:27 pm
    TLDNW
  69. Profile photo of coffeekoneko
    coffeekoneko Female 18-29
    1008 posts
    December 7, 2010 at 9:40 pm
    I had to stop halfway through the fourth minute because of that horrible mouth smacking noise.
  70. Profile photo of bryantm3
    bryantm3 Male 18-29
    179 posts
    December 8, 2010 at 12:18 am
    meh, i think it`s crap. on a personal note, i don`t find the `savanna` pictures appealing, i find them sterile and disturbing.
  71. Profile photo of junkaddy
    junkaddy Female 30-39
    261 posts
    December 8, 2010 at 12:38 am
    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.
  72. Profile photo of number43
    number43 Male 70 & Over
    759 posts
    December 8, 2010 at 1:54 am
    Lost me when he said "Van Gock "
  73. Profile photo of almightybob1
    almightybob1 Male 18-29
    4290 posts
    December 8, 2010 at 3:30 am
    inaria: I agree. In fact, there is a chart for it.

  74. Profile photo of Tisjokar
    Tisjokar Male 18-29
    985 posts
    December 8, 2010 at 3:44 am
    Intellect increased by 15!
  75. Profile photo of GZas
    GZas Male 18-29
    68 posts
    December 8, 2010 at 5:47 am
    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.
  76. Profile photo of liberalirony
    liberalirony Male 18-29
    196 posts
    December 8, 2010 at 7:03 am
    Transcription is on TED.com along with similr videos. Nice to see something that doesn`t involve dumb people injuring/demeaning themselves
  77. Profile photo of CrakrJak
    CrakrJak Male 40-49
    17514 posts
    December 8, 2010 at 7:31 am
    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.
  78. Profile photo of Jackson13W
    Jackson13W Male 30-39
    155 posts
    December 8, 2010 at 8:06 am
    TARDIS @ 3:28! i paused the video to scroll down and declare WIN! back to it.
  79. Profile photo of Jackson13W
    Jackson13W Male 30-39
    155 posts
    December 8, 2010 at 8:20 am
    handaxes as tools that became less functional and more athstetic. i hear people say that about macs. coincidence?
  80. Profile photo of landfill
    landfill Male 30-39
    23 posts
    December 8, 2010 at 2:29 pm
    Too long. Did not watch.
  81. Profile photo of PBZebras
    PBZebras Male 18-29
    208 posts
    December 8, 2010 at 3:19 pm
    agreed with landfill, my time is precious when i come to IAB
  82. Profile photo of premierwondr
    premierwondr Male 18-29
    975 posts
    December 8, 2010 at 3:55 pm
    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?
  83. Profile photo of unicornsrus
    unicornsrus Female 13-17
    44 posts
    December 8, 2010 at 9:49 pm
    interesting...watched the whole thing... he has a good point... guy drawing was really good...
  84. Profile photo of Kalimata
    Kalimata Male 30-39
    661 posts
    December 8, 2010 at 10:09 pm
    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.
  85. Profile photo of SoberGuy
    SoberGuy Male 18-29
    347 posts
    December 8, 2010 at 10:24 pm
    wow.. is this speech being made at beakman`s world?
  86. Profile photo of phacter
    phacter Male 40-49
    4 posts
    December 8, 2010 at 11:19 pm
    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.
  87. Profile photo of WhoaHeyDude
    WhoaHeyDude Male 18-29
    133 posts
    December 9, 2010 at 2:58 pm
    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.
  88. Profile photo of buttsdowhat
    buttsdowhat Female 18-29
    374 posts
    December 9, 2010 at 4:00 pm
    I could not listen to this. The dry mouth warbarble noises was just too much.
  89. Profile photo of ROK9
    ROK9 Male 18-29
    1834 posts
    December 13, 2010 at 10:44 pm
    nope i don`t think so

Leave a Reply