On Sat, Jun 18, 2011 at 5:58 PM, Russell Standish <li...@hpcoders.com.au> wrote:
> On Sat, Jun 18, 2011 at 03:04:19PM -0400, Rex Allen wrote:
>> For instance, food. Most people really like sweets and salty greasy foods.
>> Much more than they like bland vegetables and whatnot.
>> The acquisition of junk food makes us happy *because* those things were hard
>> to acquire a few hundred years ago...and if you're living in resource-poor
>> circumstances, then calories and salt are just what the doctor ordered.
>> BUT...we're now out of equilibrium. Junk food is at least as easy to get as
>> vegetables, if not easier. So our evolved preferences push us to consume
>> more than is good for us.
>> Given time, and if we allowed heart disease and diabetes to do their work,
>> the human race would eventually lose their taste for such unhealthy fare, as
>> those with genetic tendencies in that direction died off. Anticipating a
>> greasy meal of pizza and consuming it would no longer make us as happy.
>> Because that happiness is too easily satisfied to provide the optimal level
>> of motivation.
> Evolution won't help here - these diseases cause death after one's
> reproductive years, direct selection on dietary preference will not
> occur.

They do generally cause death after one's reproductive
years...especially for women, though less definitely for men (e.g.,
James Doohan!).  And those late life babies might add up over the long

Also, these diseases (and the obesity that often accompanies them)
also cause problems earlier in life, which also seems likely to lower
reproductive success.

And even a small reduction in reproductive success will add up over
many generations.

> There is an indirect effect by not being grandparents for your
> kids, but so long as some of the grandparents are around, this would
> effectively be nullified.

If your one of your grandfathers dies of diabetes related
complications, meanwhile I've still got two grandfathers - then all
other things being equal I seem to have a slight edge over you.

If for no other reason than as insurance against plain old bad luck.
If we then both lose another grandfather to the same freak airplane
crash, then you're out of grandfathers, while I've still got one left.

So the advantage to me might be small, but again, added up over many
generations, that will still presumably turn the tide in favor of my
genetic line.


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