One of the Almighty’s better ideas is evolution. The system he has set up makes continuously towards improvement. Given that living creatures can pass on their characteristics through breeding, this is the inevitable outcome. The good characteristics enable creatures to survive and breed, the bad characteristics lead to an early death and less breeding.
From the crudest and most simple living creatures, evolution eventually developed human beings who are not only physically strong and adaptable, but they also have huge brains. Much of the work of the brain is automatic: the human being operates mainly without being aware of this. And there is a further element of the brain: human beings are conscious of themselves and they can make choices. Fortunately, they do not realise that many of the choices they make are in fact automatic, because they don’t appear to be so. Even the experts in the field admit that they cannot explain consciousness and freedom of the will. They call it the ‘hard problem’.
Here is one interesting example. The earliest human beings lived in very hot areas where it was advantageous to have black skin. So that developed. But later, human beings began to colonise the cooler parts of the world. For this, a lighter, even pink, skin was advantageous. So, evolution did its work. And now I notice something very odd: it seems that light skinned people tend to despise black skinned people. Why is this? They should be revering their aristocratic forebears, but they fail to do so.
Let’s look at another aspect: the process of human breeding. I start with women. What characteristics are required by the female of the species? The female has to carry her offspring for most of a year, and then must support the offspring until they are able to care for themselves.
It follows that they will be drawn towards males who appear to be powerful, competent and reliable. They must be healthy in their appearance. And they must have financial resources. It is only such males who are likely to defend and provide for the mother over the several years of childcare. We might think that in the present time some of these characteristics may be in practice less important – but we have to remember that these tendencies in women are inherited from their long-term foremothers. Changed conditions do not change the instincts.
What is required of the male? Certainly, he will look out for the attractive female in good health – she is likely to be competent to bear and to care for the young. So, symmetry, which indicates health, and breasts which indicate milk will be factors. So will the ratio between waist and pelvis. But behind all that, is the need for the male to spread his seed as widely as possible. Unlike the female. who may pay a heavy price, it is at no cost to him. But there is good evidence that women, perhaps unconsciously, supercharge their attractiveness at the time of ovulation. For example, pole dancers in night clubs receive larger ‘tips’ when they are ovulating.
So we are reminded that the pickiness of the female is built into them through their evolved nature. Similarly, the unwanted male approach is triggered by the same means. We are sometimes given to criticise the opposite sex in this regard. But is that fair when the habits have come from how evolution works? Without it, there would be no human race at all.