Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Bonus for attractive people

A new study shows:
Looks have long-term consequences:

Women gain an eight percent wage bonus for above-average looks and pay a four percent wage penalty for below-average looks.

For men, the bonus is only four percent. But the penalty for below-average looks is even higher than for women – a full 13 percent.

From high school on, people rate better-looking people higher in intelligence, personality, and potential for success—and this often creates a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The knee-jerk liberal reaction:
No one should be judged by their sex, their color, or whether they are attractive.
I wonder what is the justification for this statement is. Millions of people judge the attractiveness of others every day, if not billions. How else would society work? What is the harm?

Attractiveness is partially inborn and heritable, but so is intelligence, personality, health, religiosity, and many other factors.

The bias towards better-looking people may be entirely logical:
Empirical studies demonstrate that individuals perceive physically attractive others to be more intelligent than physically unattractive others. While most researchers dismiss this perception as a “bias” or “stereotype,” we contend that individuals have this perception because beautiful people indeed are more intelligent.
Meanwhile, scientists are correcting the bias against Neanderthals:
Archaeologists have long debated the question of whether Neandertals buried their dead. The practice is considered a key feature of modern human behavior. In recent years researchers have found compelling evidence that Neandertals had other modern practices, such as decorating their bodies and making sophisticated tools. Furthermore, they did these things before anatomically modern humans invaded their turf, which suggests that Neandertals developed these cultural traditions independently, rather than learning them from savvy newcomers.

Over the years researchers have argued that a number of Neandertal sites preserve evidence of burials.
And some scientists are trying to censor the word "God". A public radio station reports:
The Los Angeles County Natural History Museum on Monday removed a controversial quote from its Nature Lab exhibit.

The quote, which was put up at the request of an anonymous donor, read:

"The Nature Lab is a gift to Los Angeles to celebrate all of God's creatures and enable NHM to broaden our understanding of the natural world through the process of scientific discovery.' Anonymous Donor - 2013 "

The use of the phrase "God's creatures" angered some scientists, including University of Chicago Department of Ecology and Evolution professor Jerry Coyne.
Coyne is a hard-core atheist-determinist, but it is really hard to see how anyone could be angered by such an innocuous statement.

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