Thursday, November 17, 2016

"Altruistic People Have More Sexual Partners"

Possible fāke news alert!
This site, Scientific American, has a history of propagating claims that have no basis in fact:

"That the automobile has practically reached the limit of its development is suggested by
the fact that during the past year no improvements of a radical nature have been introduced."
Scientific American, Jan. 2 edition, 1909
"... too far-fetched to be considered."
Editor of Scientific American, in a letter to Robert Goddard about
Goddard's idea of a rocket-accelerated airplane bomb, 1940
(German V2 missiles came down on London 3 years later).
With that warning we proceed to Scientific American:

We are drawn to those who do good deeds
At one time or another, we’ve all heard bits of romantic advice like “nice guys finish last” or “treat em’ mean, keep em’ keen,”  which suggest that being too “nice” will leave you disadvantaged in the world of mating.   These old tropes continue to be played out in mainstream dating culture – remember the recent popularity of ‘negging’? Essentially this refers to offering a backhanded compliment such as “I like your eyes … are you wearing colored contacts?” in order to subtly lower the social value of the person you are trying to attract.  There is some evidence that personality traits associated with being a “jerk” such as low agreeableness and contentiousness, high extroversion and openness to experience, alongside narcissism, Machiavellianism (being manipulative), and psychopathy (callousness, lying, thrill-seeking) may indeed be linked to increased sexual behavior, particularly with respect to short-term mating. But does this capture what people actually want in a mating partner? Do nice guys truly finish last?

One area of research which seems to contrast this notion is the study of altruism as a sexual signal.  Altruism involves behaving in ways that benefit another individual at some cost to one’s own fitness. Recently, converging evidence has suggested that altruism may play an important role in mate selection, thus highlighting a potentially important avenue along which good deeds done toward unrelated individuals (exemplified today by acts like donating blood or helping to push a stranger’s car out of the snow)  may have evolved....MORE
Another source to be wary of is this Lord Kelvin guy:

«X-rays will prove to be a hoax
Lord Kelvin, President of the Royal Society, 1883. 

«Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible
Lord Kelvin, British mathematician and physicist, president of the British Royal Society, 1895.

«Radio has no future
Lord Kelvin, Scottish mathematician and physicist, former president of the Royal Society, 1897.  

He was elevated to the peerage as 1st Baron Kelvin and ended up with a bunch of letters after his name: OM, GCVO, PC, FRS, OMG.

First seen in '07's 87 Worst Predictions of All Time