In the last reading, Douglas Hofstadter proposed the recognition of habitual behavior as a possible origin of creativity, but left open the question of why humans should bother to be so creative in the first place, especially in such areas as art, music, language, and literature, which have no apparent survival value.
The evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller suggests the answer to this question lies in the theory of sexual selection.† Read these selections from the writings of Miller and answer the following questions in 800 words.
1. Why do male peacocks have absurdly long and elaborate tail feathers?
2. According to Miller, how is the human mind like the tail feathers of the peacock?
3. What evidence does Miller provide for his theory that the human mind is, at least in part, sexually selected?
4. Why do so many male adolescents dream of becoming rock stars?
5. Do you think Miller is correct is his assessment of artistic motivation?† If so, does this make art and music less meaningful?† If you believe Miller is mistaken, what else could motivate such interests?
6. What is Zahaviís handicap principle?
7. Why do people spend so much money on Ambercrombie and Fitch shirts which are often three or four times as expensive as similar but unmarked shirts?
8. Why do many automobile commercials show a very attractive woman being impressed by the automobile?