Because it is the usual Darwinian just-so story that we have heard all our lives, we accept it without thinking.
Further to: Cats as unintelligent design (The cat parasitizes the human mind; how unintelligent is that?), in the Atlantic story, Britt Peterson wrote
“A passion arose for cats,” according to the log of a ship that landed in Samoa, “and they were obtained by all possible means.” Tucker takes an intriguing stab at accounting for that still-thriving passion. “Cats look uncannily like us,” she proposes, and locates their appeal not in their alien aura but in the spell their familiarity exerts and the protective fascination it elicits. “Even better, they look like our infants.” Given their baby-size bodies; large, front-facing eyes; and yet oddly predatory mien, it’s no wonder we find them “mesmerizing.”
As a matter of fact, cats don’t look like infants at all. They look, and act, like miniature tigers. Maybe that’s part of the attraction, to be sure. But the need to drag “look like our infants” into the narrative comes straight from Darwin’s upended waste basket.
The need to “naturalize” human behaviour—that is, to ascribe all attitudes, values, beliefs and preferences to some aspect of survival of the fittest—is so ingrained that it need not accord with facts or make any sense. The Darwinians have such a well-trained public now that they don’t need good evidence. They need only recite the expected, unexamined cant.
See also: Furry, feathery, and finny animals speak their minds
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Yup. Looks and acts just like a baby. They all do.