Cultura atractiva

¿Por qué existe la cultura? ¿Que es lo que mueve a las personas a escribir poemas, pintar o cantar? La mayoría de las personas que se dedican a esas actividades responderían con respuestas como: "Porque me gusta" o "porque me llena", cuando no "me siento obligado a no desperdiciar mi talento". Suelen creer que la cultura refleja la existencia de un tipo de alma o que es una expresión de la inteligencia y la creatividad humanas.

Las ciencias naturales tienen –como con tanta frecuencia ocurre– una respuesta más vulgar y que tiene que ver con la selección natural. En su fructífera obra sobre la evolución, Sobre el origen de las especies mediante la selección natural o La preservación de las razas favorecidas en la lucha por la vida, Charles Darwin utilizó la tan citada expresión "supervivencia de los mejor dotados". A la mayoría de las personas les resulta fácil entender que ser particularmente fuerte o rápido o apto para resistir el hambre, el calor o el frío puede aumentar las posibilidades de supervivencia. También la inteligencia entra dentro de esa categoría, pero introducir a la fuerza la excelencia cultural en el grupo de características que definen a "los mejor dotados" no es tan fácil y requiere un salto propio de la fe.

En su obra posterior, Darwin introdujo otros criterios de selección que pueden ser igualmente importantes, pero a los que se ha prestado mucha menos atención: la preferencia en el apareamiento o la selección sexual. Su razón para hacerlo iba encaminada a explicar las plumas de la cola del pavo real macho, que constituyen un estorbo evidente, y la melena, aparentemente inútil, del león macho. Esas características reducirían, en lugar de intensificar, las posibilidades de supervivencia para su portador, pero, evidentemente, han prevalecido generación tras generación. Así –sostuvo Darwin–, al volver más atractivos los machos para las hembras, han de aumentar las probabilidades de tener más descendencia.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.

required

Log in

http://prosyn.org/xgRheDu/es;
  1. Television sets showing a news report on Xi Jinping's speech Anthony Wallace/Getty Images

    Empowering China’s New Miracle Workers

    China’s success in the next five years will depend largely on how well the government manages the tensions underlying its complex agenda. In particular, China’s leaders will need to balance a muscular Communist Party, setting standards and protecting the public interest, with an empowered market, driving the economy into the future.

  2. United States Supreme Court Hisham Ibrahim/Getty Images

    The Sovereignty that Really Matters

    The preference of some countries to isolate themselves within their borders is anachronistic and self-defeating, but it would be a serious mistake for others, fearing contagion, to respond by imposing strict isolation. Even in states that have succumbed to reductionist discourses, much of the population has not.

  3.  The price of Euro and US dollars Daniel Leal Olivas/Getty Images

    Resurrecting Creditor Adjustment

    When the Bretton Woods Agreement was hashed out in 1944, it was agreed that countries with current-account deficits should be able to limit temporarily purchases of goods from countries running surpluses. In the ensuing 73 years, the so-called "scarce-currency clause" has been largely forgotten; but it may be time to bring it back.

  4. Leaders of the Russian Revolution in Red Square Keystone France/Getty Images

    Trump’s Republican Collaborators

    Republican leaders have a choice: they can either continue to collaborate with President Donald Trump, thereby courting disaster, or they can renounce him, finally putting their country’s democracy ahead of loyalty to their party tribe. They are hardly the first politicians to face such a decision.

  5. Angela Merkel, Theresa May and Emmanuel Macron John Thys/Getty Images

    How Money Could Unblock the Brexit Talks

    With talks on the UK's withdrawal from the EU stalled, negotiators should shift to the temporary “transition” Prime Minister Theresa May officially requested last month. Above all, the negotiators should focus immediately on the British budget contributions that will be required to make an orderly transition possible.

  6. Ksenia Sobchak Mladlen Antonov/Getty Images

    Is Vladimir Putin Losing His Grip?

    In recent decades, as President Vladimir Putin has entrenched his authority, Russia has seemed to be moving backward socially and economically. But while the Kremlin knows that it must reverse this trajectory, genuine reform would be incompatible with the kleptocratic character of Putin’s regime.

  7. Right-wing parties hold conference Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images

    Rage Against the Elites

    • With the advantage of hindsight, four recent books bring to bear diverse perspectives on the West’s current populist moment. 
    • Taken together, they help us to understand what that moment is and how it arrived, while reminding us that history is contingent, not inevitable


    Global Bookmark

    Distinguished thinkers review the world’s most important new books on politics, economics, and international affairs.

  8. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Bill Clark/Getty Images

    Don’t Bank on Bankruptcy for Banks

    As a part of their efforts to roll back the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, congressional Republicans have approved a measure that would have courts, rather than regulators, oversee megabank bankruptcies. It is now up to the Trump administration to decide if it wants to set the stage for a repeat of the Lehman Brothers collapse in 2008.