Parenting, courtship, Disneyland and the human brain
by Craig T. Palmer, Kathryn Coe
International Journal of Tourism Anthropology (IJTA), Vol. 1, No. 1, 2010

Abstract: Using evidence drawn from the Southern California tourist industry, Geoffrey Miller argues that creativity, storytelling, humour, wit, music, fantasy, and morality, evolved as forms of courtship behaviour. Although he refers to the 'mind as amusement park' he fails to include in his analysis the most famous amusement park in the world, Disneyland, which is one of the most dense concentrations in the world of exactly those aspects of culture (art, creativity, storytelling, humour, wit, music, fantasy, and morality) that he claims have evolved as courtship displays. Yet, Miller's hypothesis cannot account for the fact that Disneyland is devoted to children. Disneyland, and other similar amusement parks, instead support the alternative hypothesis that the aspects of the human brain involved in these activities evolved in the context of parents influencing their offspring, and offspring responding to their parents, not in the context of courtship.

Online publication date: Fri, 12-Nov-2010

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