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June 07, 2010

Comments

BenP

Phrenology the cutting edge of economics...

Alex

"The thing is that facial symmetry is an indicator of genetic fitness. Men who have it are, therefore, more willing to compete against others and less willing to co-operate because they would usually win competitions."

I think its an over-simplification to say "genetic fitness". Fitness isn't just based on competitive elements. There are altruistic parts too:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inclusive_fitness

Nikhil Shah

I thought the point was that you should grass him up no matter what his facial symmetry? Especially if he's Lembit Opik...

Luke R

That's one explanation but it's not the only or most obvious one. Surely another is that people with asymmetric faces tend to be considered less attractive, and so across their lives people are less nice to them, leading them to be more unhappy, resentful, and hostile (or less happy, grateful, and friendly). Why resort to the genetic claim, which leaves the actual mechanism unspecified, when there's a perfectly direct explanation already available?

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