Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Smart & sexy up a tree

From Stuff today, big thanks to Tessa for this one:
Nerds take heart. Scientists have shown for the first time that being smart is sexy, and the smartist males get the most partners.

Although the find was made by studying Australian birds, it supports the idea that our big human brain evolved because it is a sexually attractive organ, not just a useful one.

Signs of intelligence - such as creating art, music, and humour - could have made the brainiest people luckiest in love, according to this theory, championed in the book The Mating Mind by an evolutionary psychologist, Geoffrey Miller, almost a decade ago.

Testing the idea in humans is very difficult, said Jason Keagy, of the University of Maryland in the US, which is why he chose to observe satin bowerbirds at Wallaby Creek in NSW instead.

Bowerbirds are intelligent, he said. ''But they're not as complex as humans.''
Click through for the rest.

Although if you do that, as I did from the link Tessa emailed me, you will miss the two pictures on Stuff's front page which they have used to encourage you to click through. Luckily T pointed them out to me. I've put them after the jump, see if you can guess what the subject matter might be before you make the leap...
But wait there's more, what smart man with sexy woman could we use as a real life example to prove our thesis? Hmmmmm:
I roll my eyes in Stuff's general direction.

1 comment:

Ari said...


If the message is that smart is sexy, perhaps people of both genders should be "look smart" (however you do that) rather than be treated as eyecandy. *groan* Stuff really needs to grow up.

On the actual study they're quoting- that kinda makes sense. Few species-level changes happen unless they increase the chance that individuals with that trait will have sex or successfully raise children. Intelligence likely hits both of those at once. Well, certain types of it, anyway. :P