• June 28, 2016

    Host: Lindsay Beyerstein

    Autumn Whitefield-Mandrano is the author of the acclaimed new book on feminism and beauty, Face Value: The Hidden Ways Beauty Shapes Women’s Lives. Her work can b […]

    • Cool, my post is about an amazing model, whose life’s work fits in with this discussion, but this is a coincidence. My motivation right now is to ask a question about evolution, of sorts.

      Model Melanie Gaydos was recently featured in a PBS program: 9 Months that Make You. She has a condition called Ectodermal dysplasia. At one point in the show she refers to herself as being a new type of human, the first of her kind, a good humored comment, but is she onto something? Show link: (Retrieved 6/30/16 from

      Usually when I imagine traveling across the great void of space I am somewhere on my moon ship. I turn the moon into a giant space ship. Real space travel will likely be in vessels much smaller than the moon, and will require that humans spend lots of time in space with finite resources. It occurred to me, while learning about Melanie’s genome, that not having teeth, hair, and sweat glands might be an advantage for deep space travel/existence due to fewer resources being required for hygiene and health related to teeth, hair, and frequent bathing; however, her other medical condition(s) may not be advantageous, yet might also mutate again selecting for a more beneficial trait, or become cured in the future with something like CRISPR?

      I wonder, what will humans look like in a million years if space travel is the norm?

    • When she said ” helps us reproduce as species” I clicked off.

      Reproductive strategies care not one whit for species but are the strategies of individuals. When someone uses this phrase ” helps us reproduce as species” I can be quite sure that this person does not know what she is talking about. Fundamental error.

      She and host Lindsay Beyerstein delve into perceptions of beauty from both scientific and sociological perspectives

      Two words ( science and sociology ) that should never appear in the same sentence.

      I also notice they are using evolutionary psychology ( a social science ) as a straw man or some sort of authority on anything. Why is it that these people never discuss the findings of actual science? Human ethology, neurology evolutionary BIOLOGY and the like.

    • Neodarwinian #2, Interesting. I only read the brief of the original post (above), and did not listen to the link, which I might do later after work. What did you find, a lack of understanding and/or good/effective communication?

    • Jeremy #1
      Jun 30, 2016 at 5:04 pm

      I wonder, what will humans look like in a million years if space travel is the norm?

      Well:- Brown bears can hibernate for months, whales can stand enormous pressures and changes in pressure, fish and insects can remain dormant as eggs over extended periods, insect, arachnid, and crustacean bodies can withstand heavy impacts, Bombardier beetles have evolved a built in rocket engine, and Tardigrades can exist for extended periods in the high vacuum and radiation of space!

      Beauty is one of the mechanisms of sexual attraction, and is in the eye of the beholder!

      Beauty is also functional elegance to mathematicians and engineers.

      Natural Selection, favours those best adapted to the local conditions!

    • Jeremy

      When she said ” helps us reproduce as species” I clicked off.

      As I said, we do not reproduce for the species but to promote our individual genes. This is a common error the biologically ignorant make. Natural selection does not care about species and it is only incidental that well adapted individuals, those that have a successful reproductive strategy, increase species number.

      If reproductive success had anything directly to do with species elephant seal males would not trample many females to death and lions taking over a pride would not try and kill all the cubs of the previous pride male(s).