A Conversation for The Theory of Evolution - Part I

music and evolution

Post 1


Almost everything observable in nature can be explained by evolution. One thing thats been puzzling me latly is the evolutionary exaplanation for the attraction to music, i assume it is the rythm and the beat that does it for us, but i can find no plausible explanation for why humans and some animals enjoy it so much, where along the line has it become advantageous for us to enjoy music ??

curiously, me.smiley - erm

music and evolution

Post 2


There are people who say our appreciation of music is somehow linked to the fact we are deeply social animals. I'm not sure music appreciation is hard-wired in at the level of biology, however. I cannot think of a good reason (apart from group-selection arguments) music appreciation would be beneficial to an individual (the level at which selection operates).

You have to remember though, just because a living thing displays a certain trait, it doesn't mean it is adaptive per se. Is there an evolutionary/adaptive advantage that our blood is red? Not everything has natural selection as its cause.

Music may happen simply because we like it. Our ears and brains are tuned to language - perhaps the sonic structure music offers tickles those areas of the brain in a pleasing way. Perhaps music is a purely cultural phenomenon - beyond the realm of biological evolution.

Good question though. I have another: Does EVERY human culture have music? Have we come across a totally isolated tribe of people who do not have music? This may separate out the culture from the biology...

smiley - ok
Stesmiley - mod

music and evolution

Post 3


Thanks tre.
ive asked a few other people since i posted the Q, and noone could give me a stright answer but you answered it very well, itd never occured to me that some things ( such as the blood ) were not a product of selection. thanks alot for your reply. as for your question, i haven't ever heard of a culture without music of some sort. if i ever come across one ill let you know.
thank again ... smiley - biggrin

music and evolution

Post 4


ive had another idea.
I believe our ability to appreciate and to make music, has developed for similar reasons that peacock got its tail,
Throughout our own evolution unlike other animals such as tigers and other deadly things its not been physical strength that has primarily attracted girls, rather its been intelligence,
Intelligence being harder to display than physical strength our ancestors found new ways to display their sexyness, such as musical ability, art, caveman puzzles etc.
this would make sense as illustrated by the modern day expression,
"getting layed like a rock star" smiley - smiley

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