Human population structure is such that it would require either (or both) a strong selection pressure or a big increase in fitness for natural selection to dominate the evolutionary dynamics. I submit as evidence that humans were not subject to intense selection pressure from predation one word: crying, specifically the crying of small children.
The idea that a primitive band of reproductively successful humans could remain hidden from things like leopards boggles the mind of this father. And, I have thought this for a long time, before I had children. It is in no way related to the fundamental conflicts generated by bed time and potty training in the mind of a two year old child. Nothing at all.
My copy of Katrina van Grouw‘s The Unfeathered Bird demanded to be placed on my coffee table. In the same way that everything about a cheetah says fast, everything about The Unfeathered Birdsays coffee table book. There are 385 illustrations of 200 bird species. It is 287 pages long and weighs a couple of kilograms. When a book like that asks space on your coffee table, you ask “how much space?”. Fortunately, I have a sturdy coffee table.
I also have two small children (hence the sturdy coffee table). As a result, my first encounter with the content between the covers was not the orderly perusal with wine I had been planning for that night. Instead, it started with my 4-year-old, The Frogger, opening The Unfeathered Birdand asking, while staring at an immaculate illustration of a skinned bird foot, “Daddy, what is this book about?”
What is science-y about stories of my kids being adorable. Well, on the one hand, they are statistically significantly more adorable than average*. If it helps, I also refer to them as our human genetics experiment (n=2)**.
Punkface MacGruder (2yo) to The Frogger (4yo): Sister, you want ROCK OUT!?
Me: Frogger, when someone asks you if you want to ROCK OUT!, you say “YES!”
* Which, I suppose, would be an example of unconscious bias influencing a study’s results – if it weren’t also true.
** Also, evolutionary theory dictates that my fitness is determined by children.