By Prishita Maheshwari-Aplin
Vaccinations and antibiotics. Artificial lighting. Winter woollens.
Since the dawn of anatomically modern humans around 200,000 years ago, we have striven to develop every substance that would allow us to evade natural selection and to have complete control over our present and our future. Despite this, we have continued to follow certain evolutionary behaviours - ones that improve the chances of our genes being passed on. Isn’t this a surprise? I have often been fascinated by this paradoxical behaviour.
Particularly one trait that I keep noticing in couples, recently: they are nearly always of a similar attractiveness level, at least, as perceived by today’s society. In an age when environmental factors probably play a bigger role than genetic ones - when beauty is no longer the sole indication of social standing, and power and money can be acquired with one click of a button - we are still judging our mates by the laws of our ancestors: “pick someone with whom you are most likely to produce genetically successful offspring”. This seems odd to me.
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