That's a refreshingly new take on evolution! At least, I can say for myself that my preference for junk food is evolving to a preference for fruits and vegetables :)
On Sun, Jun 19, 2011 at 12:04 AM, Rex Allen <rexallen31...@gmail.com> wrote: > If evolution by natural selection were correct, then it seems to me that if > the overall environment remained relatively stable for an extended period of > time - then regardless of how it ended up, humans would be at about same > level of happiness. > > A paradise or a hell, the species should evolve towards the same overall > happiness level. > > We can only be "excessively" happy, or excessively unhappy, in a world that > we aren't well adapted to. > > My reasoning is that happiness serves a purpose...it motivates us to do > things that enhance our reproductive success. > > Unhappiness also serves a purpose...it motivates us to avoid things that > decrease our reproductive success. > > Happiness is useless as a motivational tool if it's too hard *or* too easy > to achieve. > > Unhappiness is useless as a motivational tool if it's too hard *or* too > easy to avoid. > > There has to be some optimum "motivational" mix of happiness and > unhappiness...and I'd think it's always approximately the same mix. > > Even in a hellish world, humans would be about as happy as they would be in > a paradise...once they (as a species) had adapted. > > Which brings me to my next point. IF this evolutionary theory were true, > then scientific advancements only increase human happiness to the extent > that it puts us into situations that we're not well adapted to. > > AND, given enough time (and mutation), we should adapt to all scientific > advancements...and a key part of this adaptation will be to reduce the > amount of happiness that they generate. > > We can only be "happier" than cavemen when we are in a situation that we > are not well adapted to. > > 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. > > In the future, I would think that our taste for junk food will decrease > while our taste for vegetables and fruit will increase. > > Further, this "adjustment process" isn't just true of food. It should be > true of everything. > > Even something that IS good for us will cause less happiness if its easily > available, because there's no real harm in not being highly motivated to get > it - since you'll get it even if you're relatively indifferent to it. Also, > even good things can become detrimental if over-indulged in. So, over time > entropy will eat away at the structure that underlies the desire for that > thing. > > Ya? > > Rex > > -- > You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups > "Everything List" group. > To post to this group, send email to email@example.com. > To unsubscribe from this group, send email to > everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. > For more options, visit this group at > http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en. > -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. To unsubscribe from this group, send email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en.