Vestiges

vestiges

The greatest inconsistency that most people discussing Social Darwinism fall into is the “survival of the fittest” falacy. Nowhere in any of Darwin’s writtings will you ever see this terminology refered to in the context of natural selection. It’s not survival of the fitest, it is survival of the species best able to adapt to it’s changing conditions and environments. Dinosaurs ruled the earth as the preeminent species for eons (far longer than humans). Then in the relative blink of an eye, they were extinct because a radical environmental change, for which they were, biologically, completely unprepared wiped them out wholesale. They simply couldn’t adapt to that environment.

This is what people fail to see; adaptation is the coin of the realm in evolution. 68% of the population in the U.S. is overweight, not because of “bad” genes, but because the environment has changed and people have adapted to it. Our bodies naturally store fat. We evolved from a necessity to do so since food sources were scarce in our biological past, however now the environment has changed. Food is too abundant, too convenient, too calorie dense, etc. for us not to be fat. Our metabolism favors carbohydrates over protien and stored fat, why? Because our environmental reality thousands of years ago meant that a good sugar kick made for a better chance of evading a predator. Now this biological legacy only makes us fatter when you can buy ding dongs at any 7-11.

Legacies

With regards to monogamy or polygyny, essentially what we’re observing in this era is a result of a restructuring of adaptive methodologies to account for changes in our environment. Single motherhood, readily available forms of birth control, greater potential for security provisioning for men and women that isn’t based on physical prowess, etc. Yet, in light of all that we still struggle with the legacy of our biological pasts.

Men and women, biologically, have different methodologies for reproduction. It is in a woman’s biological best interest to mate with the genetically superior male best able to provide long term provisioning for her and any potential offspring. Again, it is in her best interest to find a man best fitted to share in parental investment. This is due to her comparatively prolonged period of gestation (9 months), the rigors of rearing a child to self-sufficiency (at least adolescence) as well as her own insured survival. They ovulate in a 28 day cycle and are at a peak of feritlity 5-7 years after puberty. They posess a limited number of eggs and become biologically inviable after a certain age (at or around menopause). Their hormone and endorphin biochemistry also reflect this reproductive schema; they produce in bulk oxytocin and estrogen, both responsible for prompting feelings of nurturing as well as serving as buffers for sexual indescretions. At the peak of their menstrual cycles they produce more testosterone in preparation for sexual activity and in the low periods produce more estrogens and progesterones. In addition, both during and after pregnancy they produce high levels of progesterone and oxytocin, both primary in engendering feelings of love and nuturement for offspring.

Men’s methodologies are much different. Biologically, we produce 12.5 times the amount of testosterone than women. As a result we have higher accuity of vision, hearing and touch. We have more muscularity, lean towards feelings of aggression in preference to sadness. And of course we are easily prompted to a state of sexual arousal – we’re always ready for it in our natural state. We produce millions of reproductive cells daily and are sexually viable until very late in life. Our reproductive methodology revolves around “spreading the seed” as indiscriminately as possible. Ours is quanity, women’s is quality.

Now, having done the break down of this, you can see the conflict in mating methods; thus enters adaptive sociological and psychological mechanisms to regulate this process. Thus, being social animals, we introduce ethics, morality and implied responsibilities to buffer both methodolgies. In our biological past, sexual arousal in both men and women was mitigated by physical prowess. Large breasts in women, an appropriate hips to waist ratio, physical symetry in both sexes, muscularity in men, physical manifestations of testosterone (square jaw for example) etc. we’re the call signs for sexual activity. Physicality was (and still is) the primary motivator for sexual activity and this is literally encoded into our genetics.

However, as society progressed, conditions and environments changed, thus social adaptation changed. A lot of freshly unplugged guy’s make an astute observation in this progression – Why is it that women are still hot for:

  • Celebrities
  • Musicians
  • Criminals
  • Drug dealers
  • Daredevils and risk-takers

Social proof began to become a secondary consideration for intimate acceptance (from a female mating methodology) for women as society progressed. Physical prowess, while still a primary sexual attractor and indicator of prefered genetics, didn’t necessarily ensure a continued committment to parental investment. Men and women’s reproductive methodologies have always been in a see-saw balance since we began as hunter-gatherer tribal societies. As society (see environment) changed other factors for parental investment became important. Artists became attractive bcause they possessed creative intelligence and this was manifested in their creative abilities to solve problems. When you see the broke musician with the dutiful girlfriend this is that legacy at work.

Social proof and intersexual competition, while always present, began to move into the psychological. It was far more efficient for women to compete for a desirable male covertly – usually by not confirming his acceptance – than to do so overtly. As society further progressed, male competition moved away from the physical and into a provisioning capacity. A drug dealer and a high powered corporate executive could both be “alpha” males – both have high social proof and provisioning capacity – albeit in different social strata.

Polygyny and Monogamy are natural human methodologies. Polygyny serves a mans biological imperative better, while monogamy serves a woman’s better. The conflict arises when either is compromised. A single man who’s non-exclusively dating is essentially in a state of polygyny, while a married woman is in her prefered state of secured monogamy. Either sex must surrender their prefered methodology to accommodate the other’s. This is why, socially, we have stages in our modern lives where one is exercised over another.

Animal Planet

I was recently watching an animal planet special on dogs and cats that compared their “domestic” behaviors with those of their wild counterparts, like preadatory cats and wolves. Not so surpisingly a dog will instinctively do circles and tramp down his bed in exactly the same fashion as a wolf will his sleeping area. So too will cats cover up their own excrement, burying it so predators wont catch their scent so readily, just like house cats will. To us, these and many other behaviors seem cute, but entirely unnecessary for domesticated animals to habitually perform. One would think that after literally thousands of years of domestication, as well as selective breeding, these behaviors would be less prominent or entirely “bred out” of them, but this is obviously not the case. They are hardwired, unlearned behaviors that are imprinted into them from birth that proved to be valuable in their species’ survival over the course of generations.

Using this analogy, how much more complex are our behaviors and the motivations behind them? There are many global studies that compare physical features in attraction across culture and race for both sexes that show very frequent commonalities for physical attraction. Broad shoulders, squared jawline and chest to waist ratio in men and symetry of facial features, breast size and hips to waist ratios in women are universal attractors for each respective sex. In fact the very common propensity for women to exclude men shorter than themselves from their consideration for intimacy is specifically derived from what evolutioanry psychologists call vestigial sexual selection.

Bear in mind this is attraction and how our subconscious interprets external cues for prompting desire. You see a naked woman in Playboy and the result is a hard on. External prompt – biological response, pure and simple. That’s a quick and easy one, but there’s a variety of other reponses that occur too – quickening of heart rate, release of hormones and endorphines, dialation of pupils, flushing of skin, etc. Again this is a reaction that was unlearned and part of our chemical make up.

A lot of frustration most men and women endure in our modern socio-sexual education is the result of a psychological attempt to reconcile the vestigial behaviors and predilections of our feral past with the need for adaptation in our present environment. Hypergamy is the prime directive for women, but precious few are cognitively aware of it, and even the ones who may be still find themselves subject to it. Hypergamy is a vestigial, mental subroutine running in women’s peripheral awarenesses. So vital was this species survival methodology in our past that it had to become part of a woman’s limbic understanding of herself.

So when these processes are brought into our awareness (i.e. feminine hypergamy, male polygyny, etc.) we tend to play them down or dismiss them wholesale. Sometimes the truths of these vestiges are ugly – in fact the reason we find them uncomfortable or offensive is the result of a societal effort to keep them under the surface in ourselves. They offend our sense of justice, or notions of equitability, but they did serve to bring us to where we are now as a society.

A lot of critics of evo-psych (in particular), as well as the revealers of some of the more unsettling aspects of human social and sexual evolution, like to start their criticisms by conflating the revelations of these dynamics with condoning  the behaviors that are results of them. Yes, hypergamy, in all its permutations, can be a very ugly truth to witness, but exposing it, attempting to understand it, is not tantamount to endorsing it. Human beings can’t handle too much reality, so the recourse is to attempt to stuff the Genie back into the bottle. Being aware of our feral natures and attempting to deconstruct the vestiges of those we deal with today is not the same as expecting absolution from the consequences of them.

Just because you know the reasons for your behaviors doesn’t grant you a license to engage in them. Yet neither should anyone be discouraged from legitimate inquiry into the natures of our primal selves for fear of the shame that others would want to apply to you to ease their own discomfort.

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Published by Rollo Tomassi

Author of The Rational Male and The Rational Male, Preventive Medicine

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bob
bob
8 years ago

“I couldn’t agree more. People need to go out, live, and experience LIFE. This whole guilting men and women into getting married at age 20-25 is bogus…how are you supposed to be able to make any type of long term decision when you’ve nothing to compare it to? I firmly believe that we need to travel, get a good job, and learn to depend on ourselves BEFORE we try to depend on someone else for the rest of our lives.” Well, that’s why we had family not so long ago. To help us with their wisdom. Authority works like that… Read more »

Case
Case
8 years ago

As I sometimes do I’m coming late to this conversation, hope it’s still on I read all the comments. As always seems to happen with hypergamy we seem to get in a rut between the need to beat in the power it holds for those blind to it versus it’s own limits as a force and between its reality as a determinant for female mating behavior and it’s tendency to not be the only determinant Men want the hottest hotties and quicky learn to sublimate this desire and still want hot hotties but consider more dimensions. Women want the actor… Read more »

Case
Case
8 years ago

In comment above “superfamily” was supposed to read hypergamy. Damn predictive keyboard.

Case
Case
8 years ago

Part of the trouble discussing hypergamy is the word itself. We’re all using it, but some people using it get it in a strictly conceptual sense while others have a more experienced-based grasp of it. One way to describe hypergamy is this: Hypergamy is ALL the game you need. Does a 9/10 hottie need a good personality? Does she have to be smart or have a college degree or good prospects? Those are all nice things, but push-come-shove, looks of 9-10 will carry her as far as attracting men, in spades. She need do nothing – the men will simply… Read more »

Kate
Kate
8 years ago

Anna: Everything about being a woman used to freak me out! Now there are only a few things that still give me a hard time 🙂

Anna
Anna
8 years ago

@Bob I’ve never personally experienced hypergamy, but that wasn’t the intended point of my initial comment. Yes, hypergamy exists…I see it all the time on television, inferred in commercials, in comments on Facebook or from observing/listening to my friends and customers. However, I’m still unsure as to why my opinion that both sexes should have SOME world experience is being translated into “women should sleep around and decrease their SMP value”? That’s not what I’m saying at all. If I go to see the Hagia Sophia, do I have to bang a Turkish man while I’m there? If I visit… Read more »

Anna
Anna
8 years ago

@Kate

Like what?

Tam the Bam
Tam the Bam
8 years ago

“.. women are able to see a slightly broader range of colors and can hear high noises better. Again, this is most likely due to needing to listen for children crying .. Speaking for myself and my mates, and even my sons, at least, it’s maybe got more to do with women being less inclined to spend every opportunity they could headbanging to the likes of Napalm Death or BoltThrower in nasty bunker-like venues, sweat running down the walls and piss on the floor, during their formative years. Pardon? What was that? Yeah yeah, Guys do Stupid Shit, Part XVII.… Read more »

Jeremy
Jeremy
8 years ago

@Martel

Regarding that blog post of yours, following the links brings you to this:
http://educationnext.org/actingwhite/

Reading that page brings to mind Urkel, and the literally culturally ingrained disdain for being smart in minority communities. Reading it solidifies my complete contempt for shows such as “Big Bang Theory”, which seem to try to create culturally acceptable social dismissal of smart white males. A very disturbing trend.

Rollo Tomassi
8 years ago

I should probably Google the link for this, but when I was in college I remember reading an experimental study for psych about how fathers were better able to identify their own children’s faces in a crowd than their mothers. They basically had all these kids dressed in identical school uniforms, boy’s hair short, girl’s pulled back, so their only identifying features were their faces and hair color. The father’s overwhelmingly out performed the mothers for time in making a facial recognition of their own children. The study was intended to validate the idea that men had a psychologically evolved… Read more »

Jeremy
Jeremy
8 years ago

@Rollo, That’s pattern recognition, which men generally excel at. I’ve also been able to recognize people I know from much longer distances than the people I’m usually standing with. I don’t do this by facial recognition. I realized a long time ago that I (like most males) didn’t ONLY look at peoples faces to recognize them. Instead I also watch their stance and how they walk. I literally memorize the way my friends/family stand and walk, and that becomes the first thing I look for when looking for someone from distance. I’ve even been able to name someone just by… Read more »

Kate
Kate
8 years ago

That’s fascinating. When I was living in Europe, I once ran into a cousin of mine I hadn’t seen in years (so, I was really unfamiliar with exactly how he looked) in a comedy club while waiting in line for the bathroom. He saw and recognized me first. Neither of us knew the other was abroad and it was one of the strangest experiences of my life. Very surreal to be able to identify “family” that way.

Matthew King (King A)
8 years ago

YOHAMI, we’re really in the weeds here. It’s hard to maintain dialectical flow by fisking each other’s blockquotes. Particularly since much of our typewritten conversation is thinking out loud and testing concepts whose integrity we are not certain of, which is why we throw them out there for challenge. Toss it all against the wall; see what sticks. Suffice it to say, the mastery of instinct is the basis for all civilization. Hypergamy is an attraction to the telltale signs of domination, not an attraction to domination per se because domination includes the control or elimination of the hypergamous instinct… Read more »

Matthew King (King A)
8 years ago

Jeremy wrote: Matt, desire is passion. What you are arguing for is the extinguishing of human passion. I can’t think of anything more horrific to argue for. I don’t care what those religions say about removing desire, religions can create whatever psychological fantasy they want and hold it in front of people as an ideal to attain. What you’re saying is you worship “passion” (however you define it apart from desire), and you take exception at me for blaspheming your creed. Religion is whatever we place highest in our lives. No one said anything about “extinguishing human passion” altogether, so… Read more »

Anna
Anna
8 years ago

@Rollo

Thanks for the link, it was an interesting read. I don’t agree with some of it, but it’s cool to see a different point of view and rationale for some of the comments here.

And, as always, it was wonderfully written. 🙂

Jeremy
Jeremy
8 years ago

@Matthew King (King A) What you’re saying is you worship “passion” (however you define it apart from desire), and you take exception at me for blaspheming your creed. Is that what I’m saying? I don’t recall saying that. I also don’t recall taking exception to any contradiction of dogma. In fact I recall finding your use of other peoples dogma on how humans are supposed to live as proof that humans “can” control desire thus they “should” control desire fairly tiresome and banal. While we’re making up ad hominems for each other, I find your examples on how you think… Read more »

Matthew King (King A)
8 years ago

Zzzzz.

I gotta get out of here.

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[…] the comments to Rollo’s recent post, Yohami (a decidedly quality blogger in his own right) […]

Afonso Henriques
8 years ago

Some man and some wolfs are monogamous.

Hey There
Hey There
8 years ago

@ Anna I totally agree. I’m 22 and am already successful and was tempted into marriage with a girl a year older because of her looks, it didn’t work out, lucky for me. Now I’m free to build a foundation of success until I’m 30-35 and then I can settle down with a really hot 18-22 year old. Girls are welcome to do the same, but they have to realize that actions have consequences. We are slaves to our biology. Girls didn’t fuck me when I was broke and rich and successful guys want young, feminine, women. That’s why I… Read more »

Anna
Anna
8 years ago
Reply to  Hey There

@Hey There

I’ve also never had anything I’ve ever said described as “devious” before…or had anyone claim that female independence is “sassy”. It’s certainly a different experience, I’ll grant you that! 🙂

Anna
Anna
8 years ago

@Hey There Well, I think everyone is entitled to basic human respect, but I get what you mean. People have to work for any further respect…at least in my book. I’m glad to hear you are successful this early in life, it’s a great feeling when your plans and finances come together. I agree that marrying so young could’ve been detrimental in the long run (though I know some couples it has seemingly worked for so far). I guess I just have a difficult time imagining myself as a “traditional” woman. I would hate the idea of staying home, not… Read more »

Rollo Tomassi
8 years ago
Anna
Anna
8 years ago
Reply to  Rollo Tomassi

@Rollo Just finished reading your link. I’ve noticed this many, MANY times with other women…they expect all menfolk to give complete and utter respect to them (as though they are visiting royalty), and yet give little to none in return. This is nonsense, pure and simple. Every living thing has *some* value. Men have just as much value as women, even if the reasons for that value is different. As such, you should never kick a guy in the genitals unless you are also willing to do it to a gal. You shouldn’t punch someone without fully expecting a punch… Read more »

Fender
Fender
8 years ago

@YaReally

About monogamy, I actually think that Dan Savage had very interesting things to say about it. It might help your friends.

Westcoaster
Westcoaster
8 years ago

I just got off a sports message board where the first post asked how quickly after post-nuptuals did men not get sex? The lead poster said 3 weeks and the thread — not a male site, a sports message board — went on for 50-plus pages. No sh-t. Some of the results were startling. Some classic AFC’s and some guys who knew better. But it was alarming. I might go link this site to go unplug that Matrix.

Hey There
Hey There
8 years ago

Yes, Anna everybody is entitled to basic human respect. Having said that, in this world we are all competing for resources, except traditional women are letting their men compete for them. i respect those women as civilians so to speak. They are part of the “women and children” who are off limits in war. I believe in traditional values, and traditionally women are respected just for being women, so, if a woman takes on a traditional role she has earned my respect just for that. What I meant was that once a woman is an adult and has decided to… Read more »

YaReally
YaReally
8 years ago

@Fender

Awesome thanks for that video, that’s a great way of explaining it to the blue-pill types. I’ll be linking it to some friends. As a PUA my view goes way too deep into it and my friends don’t want to be PUAs so they take my advice with a pound of salt lol. This is an explanation that might help them sort out their feelings and guilt that’s just fucking them up 24/7 lately.

Anna
Anna
8 years ago

@Hey There Thanks for the response. I wholeheartedly agree that the majority of women would be happier if they followed your advice to be “traditional”. I dislike the fact that so many of my sex claim to be “independent” when they actually rely on Big Gov to provide them with specialized loans, grants, business opportunities and other assistance that is not afforded to our country’s menfolk. I find it ridiculous to say you are a self sufficient adult when you constantly seek handouts…that’s not being an adult, that’s being a child. But as I’ve pointed out before, I do not… Read more »

Hey There
Hey There
8 years ago

Anna, Anna, Anna, you misquote me. I didn’t say I don’t not respect independent women, just that they have to earn it just like men do. I also understand some women are FORCED to forge a life for themselves on their own. And some, excel in the real world. I’ve met them, they are smart, capable, and strong. A minority maybe, but they exist. I’m just saying it’s a lot easier for an attractive girl to be a good wife than to be the next Hillary Clinton or next Angela Merkel. American culture is screwed up this way. Look, you… Read more »

Anna
Anna
8 years ago
Reply to  Hey There

@Hey There Fair enough. I will accept that 99% of modern women would actually be happier and/or more fulfilled in a traditional role if you accept that the other 1% of us would be miserable in it. But I think you’re correct in that this discussion has run it’s course…I dislike that it has gone on this long. I’m constantly perturbed by the fact that I am against misandry, speak out against unfair/unequal laws online and in public, and am basically on “your side”, but it is always an issue that I’m not of a traditional mindset. Honestly, man, it… Read more »

Anna
Anna
8 years ago

@Hey There

Also, I’m sorry if I misquoted you…it really didn’t seem that way since you said;

“…but when you forego that role, my default respect is taken away.”

This made it sound as though you had NO respect for self reliant women, not that you respected them as you would a man (as a competitor, in other words). I have absolutely no problem being seen as a competitor in the workplace…I imagine that any bachelor without a family would be seen the same way.

Hey There
Hey There
8 years ago

Anna, I know what you mean about being an outlier….I didn’t follow the 9-5 path and was able to gain success, so, people have trouble putting me in a box too.

Höllenhund
Höllenhund
8 years ago

Yohami and M3 are just being completely obtuse idiots in this thread, while imnobody and Martel are the voices of reason. Look, if someone is so dumb that it he expects an explanation why people’s base sexual urges should be regulated, why it’s a bad idea to strip the majority of men of the opportunity to start and build families, it’s pointless to talk to them. If you think civilization equals the law of the jungle because some people have more power and authority than others, you’re a dumbass. You know what? You won’t find hospitals, schools, indoor plumbing and… Read more »

Simon Corso
Simon Corso
8 years ago

I’m starting to wonder if we’ll ever see new content here again.

Please Rollo , if for no other reason than to push that “Vestiges” pic down the page. This weekend someone asked me “Whats worse than seeing Lena Dunham naked ? ” I sent them that pic.

Simon
Simon
8 years ago

I’m a bit late on this post, but I wanted to ask: what if we hate ourselves for understanding the processes behind our behaviours? Something learned cannot be unlearned. This results in un-necessary analysis that affects your perceptions and behaviours albeit being very interesting.

How are we supposed to deal with the disgust we feel towards our species as a result of understanding how they work?

YOHAMI
8 years ago
Reply to  Simon

you change your taste.

trackback
8 years ago

[…] easy to make the association of how this ‘check-the-baby’ dynamic is a vestige of what evolved to make our species so successful; if it didn’t annoy us, more distressed […]

boomlinde
boomlinde
8 years ago

Keep writing stupid crap, but at least get your facts straight.

“This preservation of favourable variations, and the destruction of injurious variations, I call Natural Selection, or the Survival of the Fittest.” — Darwin, Charles (1869), On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (5th ed.)

boomlinde
boomlinde
8 years ago

“This preservation of favourable variations, and the destruction of injurious variations, I call Natural Selection, or the Survival of the Fittest.” — Darwin, Charles (1869), On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (5th ed.)

trackback
7 years ago

[…] could go into detail about how men giving each other shit is an evolutionary (and useful) vestige of tribalism and how men would use this “challenging” to ensure the strength and survivability […]

Macbeth
6 years ago

“Just because you know the reasons for your behaviors doesn’t grant you a license to engage in them.”

Oh Rollo, such a rational expectation!

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[…] motivated by what’s been coded into its instinctual firmware as a result of what’s been evolutionarily beneficial to the survival of the canine species. The operant conditioning is training that dog to perform desired behaviors counter to that […]

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[…] I explored this topic in my essay, Vestiges. […]

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[…] our ancestors had, but the environment they evolved in is largely gone and forgotten. However, the vestiges of this evolution are something we need to contend with today. I think it’s ironic how ready […]

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[…] by order of degree. Dogs, for example, rely primarily on the instinctual process and the mental (vestigial) firmware they’re born with to solve most of their existential/environmental problems. That […]

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[…] by order of degree. Dogs, for example, rely primarily on the instinctual process and the mental (vestigial) firmware they’re born with to solve most of their existential/environmental problems. That […]

kfg
kfg
3 years ago

“. . . I remember reading an experimental study for psych about how fathers were better able to identify their own children’s faces in a crowd than their mothers. ”

And in another study, strangers could match pictures of children’s faces ,with their fathers,
but not their mothers.

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