Darth Totoro
Dr. Frasca

Children as Darwinian toys

Sp_a0277Right from the out of the blue department. I'm preparing my PhD defense and, naturally, I wish I was doing something else (I'm in Madrid but jetlagged and with tons of work to do. Still, I'm in Madrid with friends and that's all I should care about).
In any case, I've been playing a lot with my new roommate: a 3 month old cat. And that got me thinking about kids, babies and play. Traditionally, scholars argue that children play in order to either understand the world or to practice skills that will be useful later. But what if children only play because that makes them entertaining for adults who, otherwise, would not pay attention to them. In other words, what if evolution turned babies into desirable toys for adults? If babies didn't play, they would only do all the nasty things that babies do when they're not being cute: and that should be reason enough for parents to toss them away (well, at least during the good ol' Darwinian times). So, playing could be a survival strategy for children. Who knows? Maybe play is one of the things that kept our species alive all this time...
For those who are wondering, the kid in the pic is Maia, my goddaughter, queen of the toyroom.


andrew stern

you're on to something there...

Jose Zagal

A fun idea for a few minutes. But ultimately it seems to betray the fact that you don't have kids. Right? ;-)

Yann Leroux

That's really a strange fantasy !

Even the old babies - pardon, the adults play - and they don't play to seduce a predator.

Babies are note "cute" or "nasty" : that s the point of view of and adult. Babies are :-)

D. W. Winnicott wrote a nice text : Why children play ? Do you know it ?

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