[extropy-chat] Eyes ... interesting article
avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com
Mon Jan 15 08:37:43 UTC 2007
--- Emlyn <emlynoregan at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 15/01/07, Keith Henson <hkhenson at rogers.com>
> > In the stone age most of the time those close
> enough for us to see whites
> > of our eyes were relatives.
> > That's one of the key things to remember during
> the long period of human
> > evolution as hunter gatherers.
> > However, the same is true of chimp bands.
> > So why didn't they develop eyes like we have?
> Perhaps for the same reasons that they didn't
> develop our level of
> general intelligence, language, etc. Maybe it's all
> somehow a package
> - a group of reinforcing traits that are only really
> useful all
> together (co-evolving incrementally?), and require
> some particular
> environmental stimulus to trigger off (a stimulus
> which presumably
> chimps and pygmy chimps didn't share with us).
I think it is related to the hidden ovulation in human
females. Hidden ovulation is speculated by Jared
Diamond amongst others to be involved in the evolution
of cooperation. Because human females do not display
swollen genitals when they are ovulating like chimps
and other primates, the paternity of a child born of a
female with multiple sex partners has been
historically in doubt. As such the female and her
offspring are generally well treated by all males that
may have had sex with her, since evolution would favor
them erring on the side of caution.
The eyes are heavily involved in flirting and early
human courtship with sidelong glances and such easily
disguised by the direction the head was turned.
Perhaps then the whites of the eyes allowed for sneaky
trysts that along with uncertain paternity allowed for
the development of cooperation amongst early humans.
alt email: stuart"AT"ucla.edu
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