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Are we motivated by sex or communcation?

Jack d.kelly at NO.ucl.ac.uk.SPAM
Fri Feb 21 20:26:13 EST 2003


Many people think that humans are motivated by sex and only sex.  I would
like to explore the other option: that humans are designed to help evolve
their culture.  By this I mean that the main, innate goal for humans is to
acquire knowledge about the world and then pass this on to other
individuals.  The Achilles heal of genetic evolution is that it is very slow
within generations.  The use of language to spread and evolve ideas allows
humans, as a species, to overcome this shortcoming of genetic evolution.
Through culture, we can evolve *within* generation and each generation can
improve from experience.

Consider these observations: teenagers fantasize about being famous,
scientists feel an enormous sense of satisfaction when they get significant
results, we all make time to read newsgroups.  These could be explained in
terms of improving social status and hence desirability as a mate: famous
people are sexy.  Or it could be explained by our burning desire to
communicate our ideas.  Which option is it?


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