Steven Pinker on music as a supernormal stimulus

A beau­ti­ful epis­ode of “The Geni­us of Charles Dar­win” (UK Chan­nel 4 Tele­vi­sion, 2008), in which Richard Dawkins inter­views Steven Pinker. In the inter­view talks mainly about evol­u­tion­ary psy­cho­logy. In the words of Hen­k­jan Hon­ing, who also has a blog post on it on his ‘Music Mat­ters’ site:

…Pinker explains again why music is not an adapt­a­tion but should be seen as a kind of ‘super­nor­mal stim­u­lus’ — adding the phrase “people in music hate this theory…”.

The whole epis­ode is worth watch­ing (per­haps the whole series is too, a 3-DVD set of uncut inter­views, over 18 hours), but the frag­ment on music starts at about 3′50″.

(Thanks to Frans Ellen­broek, who poin­ted me to this one)