RE: astrology-talk behaviour

Gatherer, D. (
Fri, 21 May 1999 09:00:19 +0200

Date: Fri, 21 May 1999 09:00:19 +0200
From: "Gatherer, D. (Derek)" <>
Subject: RE: astrology-talk behaviour
To: "''" <>


>Durham's Primary (sociobiological "attractors" to use Sperber's language)
>and Secondary (sociocultural) values may be useful. If phenotypic
>plasticity allows for the local fixing of behavioural goals, biased of
>course by a logic inclusive fitness enhancement, then information relevant
>to these locally fixed sociocultural secondary goals is likely to be
>appropriated. Therefore semantic continuity/relevance may be a good
>*heuristic*, or at least better than folk psychology for predicting the
>success and consequent selection of astrology talkers. (Rescue

Yes, the crucial question is: what are the locally fixed sociocultural
secondary goals? Because mastery of these is liable to translate into a)
genetic fitness and b) cultural fitness.

This is why there is no astrology talk in some social circles and
(presumably, because I've never actually heard it myself but we have
reports) a lot of astrology talk in others. If astrological knowledge is a
local determinant of sociocultural status, then astrological small talk will
indeed be prevalent.

Crucially, there is no evidence of any astrology epidemic mediated by mating
behaviour. I admit that there has been a rise in public exposure of
astrology in recent years, but that is largely via the media etc, which is
not the issue here.

It is probably the media driven increase in profile of astrology that makes
it trendier to talk about it, and therefore _that_ is what then drives the
use of astrology talk behaviour as a mating strategy.


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