Originally written in response to a writeup by Klash, which raised the following (numbered) 6 points (even further aside, that w/u seems to have been nuked as a result of falling to an abysmally low rep; downvote does not mean "I disagree"):
- The feeling I get when I hear music, see art.
- How beautiful the brilliant shades of burgundy, orange, and yellow the leaves turn in the fall seem to me.
- Romantic love. (horniness seems to be more than enough to ensure procreation)
- A person's drive to make a difference, be someone, achieve distinction.
I'm not hostile to the theory, I just find it terribly incomplete. Why would evolution produce any of the above? (The "nuns" and "monks" part was a joke, btw). None are neccesary to, or enhance the chances of survival. Animals feel none of these things (we assume, at least) and yet they survive anyway. From whence do these come?
From here down it's all MY stuff, so blame ME
One should realise that evolution
does not explain everything
. For instance, you'd be hard-pressed to explain gravity
("why things fall down") as a result of evolution; the is mainly because the two have nothing to do with each other. This does not diminish the scientific status accorded to evolution (or to gravity).
In particular, most of klash's aesthetic feelings don't seem to be too amenable to scientific explanation (and the tone of the writeup doesn't seem to encourage scientific explanation of these. AND THAT'S OK!.).
But I might as well comment about #2: "How beautiful the brilliant shades of burgandy [sic], orange, and yellow the leaves turn in the fall seem to me. ". It seems fairly obvious that given a sense of aesthetics, it will find appealing the natural surroundings. So of course autumn is appealing!
But here's something that actually relates tangentially to adaption: klash's eyes can see what we call "visible light", which includes all those reds and yellows. By an amazing fluke of Nature, those colours are pretty much what the sun produces and the atmosphere allows through. Then again, what senses would you expect to find? Something that can never be useful??
As an even further aside, I'll note that trees are green (rather than far infrared, say) for much the same reason...