“The Australian jewel beetle is dimpled, glossy and brown. The female is flightless. The male flies, looking, of course, for a hot female. When he finds one, he alights and mates. There’s another species in the outback, Homo sapiens. The male of this species has a massive brain that he uses to hunt for cold beer. And when he finds one, he drains it, and sometimes throws the bottle into the outback. Now, as it happens, these bottles are dimpled, glossy, and just the right shade of brown to tickle the fancy of these beetles. The males swarm all over the bottles trying to mate. They lose all interest in the real females. Classic case of the male leaving the female for the bottle. The species almost went extinct. Australia had to change its bottles to save its beetles. Now, the males had successfully found females for thousands, perhaps millions of years. It looked like they saw reality as it is, but apparently not. Evolution had given them a hack. A female is anything dimpled, glossy and brown,the bigger the better. Even when crawling all over the bottle, the male couldn’t discover his mistake.”
Transcript of a part of TED Talk by Donald Hoffman.
Thank you Kaush for bringing this to my attention.