I’ve commented in the past on the observation, made by many, that creative, artistic types seem to become less creative with time. In the realm of music, art, film etc., an artist past age 50 or so is over the hill and assumed to be no longer capable of exciting work. Their output may have a technical mastery, but no soul.
Today, a possible evolutionary reason for this struck me. Let’s presume that the main “purpose” of artistic talent (from an evolutionary perspective) is to attract a mate. Artists are fundamentally honing their skills to be seen as talented by attractive consorts. These consorts are presumably “thinking” (on a subconscious level), “This artist has skills. As such, our progeny would also have skills and be able to earn a mate and thus carry on my genes. It would be in the interests of my cellular lineage to mate with this artist.” However, it’s at around 50 or so that people become physically unattractive and their abilty to solicit sex dissolves. Our bodies know that at this age all the talent in the world won’t make up for our hideous appearences, our flabby wrinkled flesh, our inabilty to control our own flatuence, etc. As a result, there is no longer a reason to inspire any kind of creative drive, to perculate the creative juices, to stoke the artistic embers. Our brain essentially gives up and resolves itself to watching Cheers reruns with a martini in hand, immolating our once great frontal cortex in alcohol and mediocrity.