Beauty is determined by both biology and culture


Science can’t determine values, and this includes aesthetics, beauty.  But that doesn’t mean science has nothing to say about beauty.  As this article at PolicyMic indicates, it can study what most of us see as beauty and explore the reasons why we see it as beautiful.

The primary reason we are alive is to reproduce and pass our genes onto the next generation, who then reproduce and pass their genes on, and so on. But in order to give our children the best chance of surviving long enough to reproduce, we are wired to choose the healthiest partner we can find — and beauty is often the best proxy for health.

As science writer Matt Ridley explains in his book The Red Queen, “Prettiness is an indication of youth and health, which are indications of fertility. Why does [a] man care about fertility in his mate? Because if he…

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