June 19, 2006

The Smile of Their World is our Ears


Were we created aesthetically or did we develop our attractions subjectively? For example, it seems as though every little detail of the human body has a utilitarian function to it. Eyebrows as sweatbands for your eyes, fingernails for breaking things apart, bellybuttons as grape-holders, etc. So, is there any part of the human body that is not utilitarian, but purely for the aesthetic purposes of attracting the opposite sex? Or, do we develop our attractions simply based on comparing our options?

8 comments:

Jeff said...
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Jeff said...

Eric,

Your question poses another: What's the purphose of the appendix and the tonsils? Perhaps they are relics from an era of human evolution that were once needed or they serve a pre-natal function yet indiscernable to science. Having had my appendix removed, I can tell you the human body seems to have developed in some unusual ways.

Beyond that, I would say that there are definitely parts/functions of the body that exist purely to attract. For example, our ability to secrete pheromones. Our attractive features clearly serve us in the natural selection process, to favor us in reproduction, and are therefore purposeful. If our opposable thumbs didn't serve us to open a tin can, then one could argue they serve to give a thumbs up to the ladies walking by the construction site.

A related topic I always find interesting is the amorphous nature of attractive features, such as fat and fair skin in industrial Europe, viewed then as a sign of wealth.

Sabai said...

For those of you like me who did not know what pheremones were, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pheremones
I always questioned that whole story about fat and pale chicks being considered hot back in the day. Perhaps it truly was their wealth that was longed after, or perhaps they truly were beautiful girls who just happened to have the physical characteristics that money would allow back then. I guess I would have to know if there was a poor, ugly, large pale skinned girl that all the guys were cornering back in the day.

Arcane Rest said...

I would have to go with nipples. They are said to be remnants of those days that all men were women in the womb. Other than that and of course, figuring out if the room is cold. There really is no benefit to having them other than attracting the opposite sex. I dont know how many times women have been woed by the sight of my magnificent nipples.

Jeff said...

Nipples on guys are the result of all of us having two XX chromosomes initially. Eventually the Y chromosome breaks off and we become male, but we're left with our original trait.

And my pheromone comment was partially a joke -- it's not proven whether or not we actually do secrete pheromones, but boy do the fragrance makers love to come up with claims about their products' ability to get us laid based on scent. But then, it wouldn't surprise me if we actually do have the 'mones.

-Jeff

Justin Elder said...
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Justin Elder said...

This man is down right sexy

Sabai said...

I think I remember learning that the appendix was for digesting raw meat? Anyone else? I like the idea of having a utilitarian body, like, are our ears shaped perfectly for picking up sound? 'cause if you look close, they're pretty freakish looking.