Why do we still have ugly people?

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Why do we still have ugly people? You’d think that evolution would try and kill off anyone with an undesirable/unlikeable trait right? But, still we not only have ugly people, we also have unhealthy and stupid people [especially humans]!!

So are beauty, health and intelligence overrated?

I mean if evolution were to pick and choose the traits in humans for a better race. After all, we have been around for about 200,000 years [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homo_sapien]. That would mean that evolution would still have a minor effect on us and we would be getting more and more beautiful, healthier and more intelligent. [Isn’t that what most of us strive for – to be more handsome [beautiful], healthier and fitter and more intelligent?] So, let’s look @ what evolution really has done to these 3 traits…

Beautiful – apart from the receding hair present in humans, beauty is really open to debate!

Healthy – our dying age has increased, but a healthy life is open to debate!

Intelligence – ok, let’s not even go into this right now!

So, what has evolution decided that would naturally evolve from humans? Or well, are we just not intelligent enough to look for _that_ trait, which has evolved?

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39 thoughts on “Why do we still have ugly people?

  1. bApHoMEt

    here’s a theory with no scientific backing, which i cooked up myself:

    what if it’s our over dependence on tools that has evolved. before tools (stone, iron, internet etc) happened, we were probably going into muscular, fit, beautifull people. why? becasue we’d have to do everything ourselves. that means we have to have perfect bodies to get the job done.

    also, the use of birth control hampers the proper function of natural selection.

    what say you?

  2. You are stating that under the premise that you need perfect bodies to get everything done on your own =D!

    When was the sense of beauty established? The norms, the regulations? If someone had decided the other way, wouldn’t Brad Pitt be nothing but an ugly moron and Danny Devito – the hunk?

    Use of birth control is an invention made out of intelligence! Evolution, if it were to be true, took its course =D! Natural selection has already played its part in terms of human intelligence [widely different and hence a necessary evolutionary parameter] made the invention, and the choice of the human to use it =)!

    Muscles are a necessity. I don’t deny that and they get formed only with necessary training [which most of us lack – ok fine it’s just me :P]. However, amoeba with no muscles are still prevalent and largely needed in the eco-system. What say you?

  3. Evolution doesn’t “pick”, “decide” or “try”. What drives evolution is the ability for some individuals to reproduce more than others over very large timescales.

    Humans that are less reliant on technology for their survival will probably be the future of the species. Those who will not be plunged into chaos famine and war when the whole of their civilization collapses around them. Or those who are technologically inclined may just take the whole species out with them.

    Overall I doubt human civilization will be around long enough to notice a change in the species. There is very little selection when most people live to reproduce.

  4. bApHoMEt

    My point was better explained by Joe above – “Humans that are less reliant on technology for their survival will probably be the future of the species.”

    If the motive for the existence of any species is the propagation of self (and that means the species as a whole), then it is absolutely necessary that dependence on tools and technologies be reduced. The survival of any species depends on adaptation. Depending on technology to better adapt to an environment will thus be disastrous from an evolutionary point of view. If we depend on vehicles for transportation, we will not evolve into better runners. Better runners will be better suited to survive when there are no cars. Considering that, and applying the same logic to any technology, we can see that we are negating the evolutionary process by dependence on technology.

    And I want to better illustrate my point by using what Guru stated – “….amoeba with no muscles are still prevalent and largely needed in the eco-system.”

    The evolutionary motivation for an amoeba and for humans are very different. But the root is ofcourse survival in an their respective environment. Certain amoeba living in environments, in which they are thoroughly adapted for, would not undergo evolution in a particular direction. And certain amoeba will probably evolve into intelligent, muscular, bi-pedaled beings. That is decided purely by the environment.

    Thus, we evolve in order to adapt. But if we use tools (technology) to help us adapt, we do not naturally evolve suitably for the environment.

  5. bApHoMEt

    @Guru: I personally believe that anyone whose body follows the principles of the Golden Ration/Fibonacci Ratio will be considered beautiful. But then, there are cultural variables to consider too. Hence, digressing on that is a waste. However, on a lighter side, my body does not follow the Golden Ration either. It is in fact, a mishmash of flab and unwanted curves.

    @Joe: “What drives evolution is the ability for some individuals to reproduce more than others over very large timescales.”- I did not get that. Care to elaborate?

  6. Hmm interesting points both Joes!!

    Hmm, lemme try and piecemeal it for my own better understanding =)!

    @ Joe [with name Joe]:

    Evolution doesn’t “pick”, “decide” or “try”. What drives evolution is the ability for some individuals to reproduce more than others over very large timescales.

    I think this is definitely the highlight of your comment. =) and I don’t think I can really put in any better words – bravo!!

    However, I would imagine that it would be species that would reproduce more than others. Anyhoo let’s get to the time where in beauty, health and intelligence as we know it has been defined [and let’s not get into what is really beauty now :P]

    So, as time shows us, and so does experience, beautiful people get laid a lot – and hence are more probable to reproduce. An unhealthy person would be considered an unwise [see they are related] choice to fornicate with and create life. A stupid person, unless and otherwise drop-dead-gorgeous would rarely be the choice to create life.

    See where i am going with this.

    Humans that are less reliant on technology for their survival will probably be the future of the species. Those who will not be plunged into chaos famine and war when the whole of their civilization collapses around them. Or those who are technologically inclined may just take the whole species out with them.

    I tend to disagree. I do not think that technology has got anything to do / destroy evolution as we know it =|

    Overall I doubt human civilization will be around long enough to notice a change in the species. There is very little selection when most people live to reproduce.

    While I didn’t get that, I still think it was put really well =P!

    Q tho – Don’t we still choose who we hump before just going around humping??

    @ Joe K: How can you say technology restricts evolution. I believe that the very environment we create is because of technology. So as adaptation is concerned, humans with intelligence will make sure that the environment remains pretty conducive for our survival. Of course, once that crashes, we are doomed anyway and a new species will get evolved =P!

    Ok, now I think I see a correlation. =P

    I lost track by now!! Damn you attention deficit disorder =(!

  7. @ Joe K: Hmm, i got another theory. Can we safely assume that beauty is held @ a standing coz of rarity? And hence it follows that there aren’t that many beautiful people? And hence can we assume that mediocre people [the people who conform to the rules u mentioned] are so much more common that beauty/health/intelligence is in fact a mutation?

    It’s evil I tell ya!! Eeeeevvviillll =P!

    😉

    Ok this is just sour-grapes phenomenon!! So now u guys go!!

  8. “@Joe: “What drives evolution is the ability for some individuals to reproduce more than others over very large timescales.”- I did not get that. Care to elaborate?”
    Everyone of your ancestors had children that were able to have children. Those that didn’t were evolutionary dead ends. evolution in a species is driven by some individuals reproducing more than others so that their genes dominate the population. That represents a drift in the “gene pool” which is evolution.

    With technology most humans regardless of their genes survive to produce children who produce children. So very little selection occurs. Evolution occurs more when resources are scarce and the struggle more of a … well … struggle.

    “However, I would imagine that it would be species that would reproduce more than others.”
    Ah but you were referring to how a particular species might change with time, that will be determined by which individuals contribute to the gene pool of that species.

    I highly disagree with the contention that beautiful people get laid a lot. Virtually anyone in our society (barring disease or disability) has the opportunity to reproduce. This is why I say that evolution really won’t occur in any significant amount in our species as long as we maintain a technological society. We’re too comfortable.

  9. I highly disagree with the contention that beautiful people get laid a lot. Virtually anyone in our society (barring disease or disability) has the opportunity to reproduce.

    First off, this is interesting. Which society do you live? Me wanna know =P!

    Secondly, “barring disease and disability” is a very strange clause you know! Both denote health and intelligence and in some weird form – beauty =D!!

  10. I was specifically referring to disease or disability that disable the physical process of reproduction. (I decided not to use the word “dismemberment” to avoid audience cringing. You can thank me later. 😉 ) But, of course, we continually advance technology to allow more and more ways to get around reproductive difficulties, thus reducing any selection there as well.

    I live in a society with ugly, stupid, and unhealthy people of both sexes. Many of whom what to get laid from time to time. Also, there is alcohol.

  11. bApHoMEt

    @Guru: “How can you say technology restricts evolution. I believe that the very environment we create is because of technology.”

    “Of course, once that crashes, we are doomed anyway and a new species will get evolved =P!”

    Thats pretty much what I’ve been trying to say. Evolution does not occur until a species is exposed to a change, to which it has to learn to adapt. Thus, the two points that your presented pretty much states that technology is a hindrance to evolution.

    @Joe: I agree with that completely. but i’d like to add that natural selection does not entirely depend on the species alone. look at the cheetah. their gene pool is now quite small and cheetah population i africa are prone to more diseases and death because of inbreeding. thus, scarcity is not conducive for adaptation by evolution. it hampers it. imagine if there were only 10 women left and only one male (to make matters worse, lets say that that male is me). The species will be extinct in no time.

  12. bApHoMEt

    i have to add another point here. if there were 10 women, 10 men and me (make that 11 men). if i had technology…say a gun. and the 10 women were hot. i’d probably end the competition with my gun. thus, my corrupt spawns will walk the earth. and all this happened because i had technology on my side.

    p.s. i know its a silly point. so dont bother with countering it

  13. “but i’d like to add that natural selection does not entirely depend on the species alone.” I’m not sure what you mean by this. Natural selection depends very much on the environment. Which is why species tend to adapt to their environments, including the other species that are in them.

    “look at the cheetah. their gene pool is now quite small” Certainly too much scarcity in the environment and too little diversity in the species can lead to extinction.

    It is the very risk of mass deaths though that powers selection. It really is a fine line that must be walked for any given species to survive and evolve. Most populations tend to go through times of plenty when genetic diversity is at a maximum and then time of scarcity when selection pressures are at a maximum.

  14. bApHoMEt

    @Guru: when will you be reaching? where will you be? can we meet up? i will be leaving for the states by the end of august.

  15. Hehe, welcome to the realization =P! I am back in Bangalore btw. So unfortunately, no more direct access to Internet from office =P! Wats happening over there? And when are you planning to fly back to the You Yes of Yay?

  16. bApHoMEt

    i got my final exams going on now. will b heading to the US by end of august or beginning of september. might come to banglore sometime in between. should meet up.

  17. Jake

    You’ve got how the theory of natural selection works, but I think you’re missing a few key components to why it’s not working the way you apparently hope.

    Evolution and Natural Selection are the right and left hands of progress, the strong surviving the reproduce with a mate who finds them to have considerably superior traits to the other possible mates around. That’s fine and dandy and works perfectly for the rest of the animal kingdom, but not for humans!

    Humans bend the laws of their natural instincts disgustingly, not to mention the habits which cause birth defects to produce undesirable members of the species over and over again. Humans reproduce with a random possibility, though it always does seem to lead to the more attractive members some times.. not always. For the human race to lose it’s ugliness, it’s stupidity, it’s incompetence that spawns from the very basis of physical engines, then every single human capable of reproducing must go with the smartest, most intelligent, and healthiest person they ever find in their life.

    We don’t, of course, we find that “special someone” and squeeze out little blessing after little blessing, feh, and it usually doesn’t matter how ugly, stupid, unhealthy the parents were because they apparently were “in love”.

    So if you’re going to blame something for the lack of human evolution, blame love.

  18. Ashley

    Because people need to feel better about themselves. If you see an ugly person automatically you will feel better about yourself because you are glad you don’t look like that.
    Someone should start camps for just ugly people to live in. They should be tortured and then killed.

  19. charles

    it is because ugly people still have sex with other ugly people. if this continues then it is possible that the human race will take two forms. i say we should ban ugly people from having sex to recreate the survival of the fittest environment that led the human race to become world leaders.

  20. JC

    YOU GUYS HAVE MISSED THE POINT!!
    The genetic definition of Ugly is the physical “apperence” of not being able to reproduce or to take care of oneself, ones mate, and/or ones offspring.

    So the feutures that make someone good looking genetically, are those that show youth, health, and sexual prowness.

    Therefore, technology can scew the results, because the guy with the gun would have the apperence of being able to take care of there offsprings.

    In conclusion, smarter, healthier, and better looking people will develop faster and in greater numbers when there is more technology, repairing there defects, or when there is less making them less competitive.

  21. Cosmin

    Most people totally misunderstand the role of sexual selection in evolution.

    A species cannot know in advance what traits will be beneficial in the future. The dinosaur cannot prepare for the incoming asteroids, the mammoths and cave bears cannot prepare for the end of the ice age.
    If the enviroement dosen’t change the species simply stop to evolve, evolution only happens when there’s a near-miss with extinction, when something in the enviromement changes.

    What we most find attractive is simply the “norm” for the species, perfect simetry and lack of any mutations.
    Sexual selection dosen’t evolve us it dosen’t produce a better and better humanity, it is on the contrary a “break” working against change.

    Evolution happens precisly from the assimetrical, the abnormal in a species in a moment of crisis. These alternatives exist so that when some event occurs the species dosen’t simply disappear – part of it may survive because these alternatives may be better suited to the new enviroement.

    Like for example, when you use antibiotics to kill bacteria, most might die, but the few of them that by chance were a bit different may survive – and sure enough soon all the bacteria will be resistent to the drug. If all the bacterias would’ve been “perfect” none would survive something it can’t hope to plan for.

    It would be foolish for the species to “put all it’s eggs in one basket/body design”.
    Beauty is just the average, and if some part of the species disappears at some point, it will be the average of those left, even if they may seem ugly to you or me now.

  22. Evolution in the human race? What a JOKE

    Give me a break, do you even understand the concept of evolution? Its a change in SPECIES, not appearance. And humans are not evolving. Why? We are prohibiting evolution by saving lives. Evolution occurs when they are outlived by those with a mutation that allows them to live longer, it has nothing to do with ugly/pretty. BELIEVE IT OR NOT the “ugly” people you are attacking do reproduce and even if they don’t, the “PRETTY” people also have dormant genes that may be passed on to their offspring. And I take offense to this because I am not one of the “pretty” people and I feel like I’m being told I don’t have a right to exist.

  23. Allie

    ok your making yourself sound stupid. look at your first paragraph…it says, and i quote “… stupid people [especially humans]”
    people are humans, humans are people. their the same thing. a dog isnt a human or person. therefore your whole point was lost. EPIC FAILURE!!

  24. BDAWG

    Beauty is subjective and a beautiful face does not make you more survivable – it is the result of some inconsequential features. Furthermore you don’t need to be that intelligent to reproduce – quite the contrary.

  25. angelique

    Beauty and intelligence are two of the most important things in this world. If you’re ugly and stupid, your life would probably suck! But everybody wants beauty, it is looked upon, who wants to be ugly?!

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