Mars and Venus

The “men rules” in the linked blog post (also doing rounds on Facebook) prompted me to post some comments on communication between men and women.

1. Men are NOT mind readers.


1. Ask for what you want.

Let us be clear on this one:

Subtle hints do not work!

Strong hints do not work!

Obvious hints do not work!

Just say it!

Anyone married or in a relationship should be able to relate to this problem. My own experience confirms what the linked joke implies. For whatever reason, women tend to believe that men ought to know what women think, without being told. Men should just figure it out through a non-verbal channel of communication. To buy milk on the way back from work, turn that music down, fetch a glass of water. And no, it should not be necessary to actually ask for any of the above – the men should pick up the vibe and do it without being asked.

Homo sapiens has been a tremendously successful species on Earth. Many organisms, some of them bigger and stronger, have been eliminated in the process of evolution. Many others live alongside us but none comes even close to the supreme position enjoyed by the humans. Yes, pigs and dolphins are reputed to be very intelligent but they have not learned to co-operate for common good, like humans can. Yes, ants and termites have organised themselves in societies but they have not developed technology. Yes, gorillas and chimps can use primitive tools but it is humans who build Zoo’s for them and not the other way. Humanoids appear to occupy a very special place in the chain of evolution, indeed.

There is a respectable scientific theory claiming that the main advantage homo sapiens had over the other contestants in the race of evolution was the ability to communicate verbally:

Modern and relatively modern humans, such as Neandertals, are the only primates known to have their hyoid bone high in the neck. While this helps us produce a far wider range of vocal sounds, it also allows us to more readily choke on food and suffocate because it allows the entrances to both the trachea and the esophagus to be open at the same time.  The fact that nature selected for this potentially disadvantageous trait suggests that the evolutionary advantage of speech was very important.

He points out that the descension of the larynx into the throat makes humans much more susceptible to choking than any other mammal. It is unlikely that such a dangerous adaptation would have evolved unless there was some strong selective advantage provided by it. Since the larynx contains the vocal cords and is critical for speech, it seems likely that Lieberman’s hypothesis is correct in that this change somehow improved speech and that improved speech gave a distinct selective advantage.

It is due to our ability to communicate verbally that the humans were able to organise in communities whose members were assigned specialised tasks. “Look – woolly mammoth! I kill, you cook, then we eat!”. So we, humans, are the dominant species on the Earth at least partly due to the fact that we have developed verbal communication. This way we can precisely convey our thoughts, exchange ideas and delegate tasks. It has worked for us for thousands of years. This is why we have won the evolution race and developed the material and spiritual culture vastly superior to that of, for example, meerkats. This is why we rule the Earth.

It is beyond me why we should now concede this evolutionary advantage and start relying on mind reading to deal with everyday tasks. There is nothing wrong with asking “please get some milk on the way in”.


One Response to “Mars and Venus”

  1. Nick Says:

    Awesome =)

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