Frases de Steve Stewart-Williams

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Steve Stewart-Williams

Data de nascimento: 1971

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Steve Stewart-Williams is an associate professor in the school of psychology at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, and author of the books Darwin, God and the Meaning of Life and The Ape That Understood the Universe . He was born in Wellington, New Zealand.

Citações Steve Stewart-Williams

„Language, intelligence, and humor, along with art, generosity, and musical ability, are often described as human equivalents of the peacock’s tail. However, peacocks afford a poor analogy for the role of courtship displays in humans. Other animal models offer a better fit. In a number of nonhuman species — species as diverse as sea dragons and grebes — males and females engage in a mutual courtship “dance,” in which the two partners mirror one another’s movements. In Clark’s grebes and Western grebes, for instance, the pair bond ritual culminates in the famous courtship rush: The male and female swim side by side along the top of the water, with their wings back and their heads and necks in a stereotyped posture. If we want a nonhuman analogue for the role of creative intelligence or humor in human courtship, we should think not of ornamented peacocks displaying while drab females evaluate them. We should think instead of grebes engaged in their mating rush or sea dragons engaged in their synchronized mirror dance. Once we have one of these alternative images fixed in our minds, we can then add the proviso that there is a slight skew such that, in the early stages of courtship, men tend to display more vigorously and women tend to be choosier. However, this should be seen as a qualification to the primary message that intelligence, humor, and other forms of sexual display are part of the mutual courtship process in our species.“

—  Steve Stewart-Williams
(p. 160)

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„The pattern of sex differences found in our species mirrors that found in most mammals and in many other animals. As such, considerations of parsimony suggest that the best explanation for the human differences will invoke evolutionary forces common to many species, rather than social forces unique to our own. When we find the standard pattern of differences in other, less culture-bound creatures, we inevitably explain this in evolutionary terms. It seems highly dubious, when we find exactly the same pattern in human beings, to say that, in the case of this one primate species, we must explain it in terms of an entirely different set of causes — learning or cumulative culture — which coincidentally replicates the pattern found throughout the rest of the animal kingdom. Anyone who wishes to adopt this position has a formidable task in front of them. They must explain why, in the hominin lineage uniquely, the standard evolved psychological differences suddenly became maladaptive, and thus why natural selection “wiped the slate clean” of any biological contribution to these differences. They must explain why natural selection eliminated the psychological differences but left the correlated physical differences intact. And they must explain why natural selection would eliminate the psychological differences and leave it all to learning, when learning simply replicated the same sex differences anyway. How could natural selection favor extreme flexibility with respect to sex differences if that flexibility was never exercised and was therefore invisible to selection?“

—  Steve Stewart-Williams
(pp. 142-143)

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