The Arts (Art)

by Carl, Thursday, August 28, 2008, 04:01 (5719 days ago) @ David Turell

David says of music, " if survival by natural selection, the Darwin approach would have to reason that Beethoven's talent was necessary for our survival. "
I cannot see that evolution requires that every aspect of an organism must contribute toward natural selection, only that it not impede it. But natural selection began ceasing to apply to humans when they ceased to be hunter-gatherers, and it was not much a factor in the time of Beethoven. Modern society with its emphasis on protection of the weak and ill prevents natural selection from operating, with the partial exception of immunity from disease.
We tend to forget the second part of natural selection, which is reproduction. It is at least as important as survival in passing on our genes. If one survives without reproducing, then the best one has to contribute is the genes of one's siblings. So, if the Beethoven effect improved reproduction, it improved natural selection.
Language and music must have grown from the same source, animal calls. Calling is used for normal communication ,for territory marking and for mating. All of these contribute to natural selection. It would be interesting to know at what point music separated from language, but most of the primitive hunter-gatherer cultures had music in some form when they were discovered. There may have been a group bonding effect that aided natural selection. Also, some species seem to make noise just for the pure joy of it.

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