"I am all in favor of the skeptical mind. Do not believe anything unless you have experienced it. Do not believe anything - go on questioning, however long it takes." - Osho

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Whimsy is good, right?

As surprised as I am about it, I somehow managed to snatch a little time away from studying and sitting exams to write a partway decent post. Just thought I would share a little bit of interesting-but-not-very-important science with you.

I was thinking about the evolutionary benefit of different features, and started thinking about cuteness. Is there an evolutionary benefit of being cute? The idea seems to make sense; most people find babies cute, right? At a very basic level, that might be part of the reason why people feel an urge to care for babies, regardless of whether they're their own.  It might even be useful for other species to have cute offspring- you look at a super cute kitten, and you don't want to kill it and eat it or anything, do you? If you're normal anyway. That could be useful, because if we aren't killing adorable cat-babies, and we're looking after adorable human-babies, they can grow up, and reproduce, and carry on their genes. It's a cool thought. 

So I looked it up, and found a couple of articles examining exactly that question! It's interesting to see other peoples' views on this type of subject.

Here's one in the New York Times about why cuteness is so appealing.

And here's one about why we find animals in specific cute, and empathy between animals.

Interesting, right? Besides... Everyone loves cute pictures of my pets. SAY AWW. If anybody has other sources, or is an expert in a related topic, leave a comment! I'll check them out and edit this post accordingly.

Lastly, I've volunteered for the Woo Zoo piece in TS for next week. This is a post in which the contributors relate times when they've given up on woo, for various reasons. However, all of their posts seem to be pretty deep and thoughtful- largely about religion, or triggered by a monumental event. Having been brought up in a completely non-religious household, I'm struggling to find something profound to write about, so I've settled for something a little more light-hearted.

Should I write about abandoning homeopathy, or about abandoning belief in the Loch Ness Monster?

Beccy :D


  1. Write about homeopathy, your last post on it was ace! :)

  2. Thanks, I think I might. :D

  3. Homeopathy-no body ever got hurt believing in an imaginary monster, tons of folk get hurt by 'alternative' medicine

  4. I agree, and did try to write about homeopathy, but the words weren't flowing at all. I might try again sometime, though.