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Ab3 comments on Mysterious Answers to Mysterious Questions - Less Wrong

71 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 25 August 2007 10:27PM

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Comment author: Ab3 09 February 2012 07:00:47PM *  1 point [-]

I would like to suggest that the concept of "beauty" in art, relationships and even evolutionary biology seems to satisfy EY's criteria of being a mysterious answer.

If I ask, "how does the male peacock attract female peacocks" and one answers "because his tail is big and beautiful", haven't they failed to answer my question? Beauty in this response is a 1- curiosity stopper, 2- has no moving parts, 3- Is often uttered by people with a great deal of pride (the painting is so beautiful!), and 4- leaves the phenomenon a mystery (In the case of the peacock, I still don't really know why female peacocks like big colorful tails).

Comment author: APMason 09 February 2012 07:20:56PM *  0 points [-]

The Handicap Principle is one possibility.

Comment author: pnrjulius 29 May 2012 03:53:26AM 0 points [-]

Also, symmetry is a sign of health in bilaterians such as we; so it makes sense that we'd evolve to find symmetry beautiful.