Human evolution theory utilizing concepts of neoteny & female sexual selection
An etiology of neuropsychological disorders such as autism and dyslexia, and the origin of left handedness.

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Geoffrey Miller

Evolution of the human brain through runaway sexual selection: the mind as a protean courtship device: bibliographical excerpts


"Another kind of turnover-pulse hypothesis has been articulated by Calvin (1991), who emphasizes the possible role of glaciation cycles in facilitating human evolution. Until recently, Pleistocene glaciation was assumed to affect primarily upper latitudes, but recent paleoclimatology studies have suggested that glaciation had substantial effects on the temperature, rainfall, seasonality, and patchiness of resources in the equatorial zones of Africa (Foley, 1987). So there is a coincidence between the onset of glaciation cycles and the onset of encephalization in our lineage." (Miller, Geoffrey F. (1994) Evolution of the human brain through runaway sexual selection: the mind as a protean courtship device. unpublished theses. pp. 28)

"The possibility of runaway sexual selection for mental traits in humans has never to my knowledge been discussed before. So sexual selection through mate choice is the one great evolutionary process that has never been used as a possible explanation for human mental evolution, or for the rapid increase in brain size in our lineage. And the reasons for this neglect are historical and ideological (e.g. Victorian sexism and mechanistic behaviorism) rather than scientific." (Miller, Geoffrey F. (1994) Evolution of the human brain through runaway sexual selection: the mind as a protean courtship device. unpublished thesis. pp. 143)

"If our ancestors were choosing one another based on bodily features, and if that selection resulted in the species-specific elaboration of many of these features, and it is plausible that they were choosing one another based on mental and behavioral features, and that this selection could have resulted in the species-specific encephalization pattern described in chapter one. Thus, human sexual morphology can give us important clues about the evolution of human mentality." (Miller, Geoffrey F. (1994) Evolution of the human brain through runaway sexual selection: the mind as a protean courtship device. unpublished thesis. pp. 145)

"Yet again, theorists of human evolution have shown a blind spot with respect to sexual selection: what we are specialized for, both morphologically and behaviorally, is to seduce each other." Miller, Geoffrey F. (1994) Evolution of the human brain through runaway sexual selection: the mind as a protean courtship device. unpublished thesis. pp. 149)

"The reduction in sexual dimorphism form Homo habilis to Homo erectus was actually an increase in females size, this size increase may have been driven primarily by selection for a wider pelvic outlet to allow the birth of larger-brained babies." (Miller, Geoffrey F. (1994) Evolution of the human brain through runaway sexual selection: the mind as a protean courtship device. unpublished thesis. pp. 25)

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