posted on Dec, 4 2006 @ 12:29 AM
It's not for no reason, it's perfectly understandable. We make friends and form communities based primarily on appearance - we always have. There
are, of course, lots of other factors, but sight is very important to us the first time we come across someone. Most if not all species have
developed ways to recognize members of their own species quickly, to prevent being eaten by a mimic, and of course to avoid the awkwardness of
breeding with the wrong species. It takes an act of will, a conscious sublimation of instinct to break those barriers.
It's a survival mechanism to protect us. Taken to the extreme, it's unhealthy xenophobia.
All that said, I'm from New York city originally, and we have some of the nastiest cockroaches in the civilized world. Top ten, anyway. Rats too -
unbelievable how big some of the rats get...
I despise cockroaches (and rats). I've seen some enormous freakin' rats in the subway tunnels, by the water in the park, and in basements.
Gigantic things - disgusting harbingers of disease and filth. Garbage-eaters, like the roaches.
We despise them because the sight of them is a visual cue that disease might be present. As I said, it's a survival mechanism.
Not entirely logical, but based in logic at least. It's a good bet that your girlfriend's mouth harbors as many bacteria as the roach, but we
don't think like that because it doesn't make any sense to squish your girlfriend. You squish your girlfriend to protect yourself against bacteria
and you've lost more than you've gained. You squish a roach and you've lost nothing, but gained some small measure of safety.
On the subject of roaches, check out the book The Roaches Have No King by Daniel Evan Weiss - it's a fun read. The protagonist is a
cockroach. It's an ingenious and engaging satire, I enjoyed it anyway. It was also published in the UK and elsewhere (Australia, I think) under the
title Unnatural Selection.