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Attraction and the Outdated Mechanisms of Survival

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posted on Oct, 10 2008 @ 04:42 AM
The human race is about 200,000 years old. Isn't it quite strange that basically, the difference between the way people lived their lives 500 years ago and how people lived at the very beginning of humanity is smaller than how we live our lives today, compared to 500 years ago?

Actually I think it's mind blowing! But why is it interesting?

Let's say that a generation reproduces itself every 20 years - that would mean 25 generations during 500 years. 25 times for nature to adapt the human organism to an environment that has changed more during the last 500 years than it has for 200,000 years. This time, in comparison to 200,000 years of evolution, or 10,000 generations, is nothing.

We are hard wired to survive - it's the whole point of evolution. However, we're not optimized for survival in the world as it is today, but rather as the world was 200,000 years ago. For example, the fight or flight instinct - If your ancestors didn't have an evolved fight or flight instinct you wouldn't be here reading this today - your genes would simply have been erased sooner or later. It's just the way evolution works, weaker genes get erased due to surivial of the fittest. However, when you get an urge to just get away in a difficult situation, for example when you are about to hold a presentation at work, it's not really helping you, is it? The mechanisms are simply outdated.

The same logic can be applied on attraction. Life, as I mentioned earlier, 200,000 years ago was about one thing - survival. If we break it down there are two criterias for survival. There is short term survival, for example defending against wild animals. There is also long term survival - to be able to have children and make sure that the genes survive.

Men and women are of course both a part of the equation to be successful at surviving. However, men offer more of short term survival value and women offer more of long term value. This is because men are generally stronger than women and are therefore also better equiped to solve the short term survival issues. On the other hand the woman is the one that can give birth to children and therefore also ensure the long term survival.

In order for a man to be successful in surviving, he has to find a healthy woman who has a body suited to give birth to children. Beautiful hair, an appealing hip-breast ratio and an overall symmetric look are typical characteristics of this. However, for a female to be successful in surviving she needs to mate with the alpha male - someone who can defend her and her offspring. This is why looks isn't as important for females as it is for males. However, a personality conveying alpha male traits and social status is huge.

Even though the world and society is completely different today compared to 200,000 years ago these behavioral patterns are still controlling us. They have been formed during 200,000 years of evolution. During the short time our society has changed dramatically evolution has simply not been able to keep up.

Furthermore, 500 years ago the population of the world was about 400 million people - today it's estimated to about 7 billion people. Our behavioral patterns are optimized for living in small communities and we are now living in multimillion cities.

Biologically, it's litterally like taking a caveman and dropping him off in New York City 2008.

It's really no wonder that there is an increasing number of people over 30 without anyone special in their lives. The mechanisms that evolved to make us successful at surviving are outdated and are actually making it harder for us to survive long term today.

[edit on 10-10-2008 by Kos!!]

posted on Oct, 10 2008 @ 06:16 AM
Maybe our survival mechanisms aren't that much outdated?
Our current way of live is not sustainable for more than a given (currently seeming pretty short) time and society as we know it today WILL eventually change. Depending on how the change takes place, I'm pretty confident that both our short- and longterm survival mechanisms will become handy again.

And looking at our current state of the world, this might actually happen sooner than we all would like.

posted on Oct, 10 2008 @ 07:35 AM
Good point!

Maybe we're only able to reach a certain level of technological and social development before the whole system resets. Like a biological/genetic limit to what is possible in terms of advancement. Or maybe the mechanisms will evolve and optimize to modern society after a period of time. Completly different behavioural patterns that are successful in a modern quickly advancing society that would be dominant. Wonder what that would be like


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