Evolution happens slowly with human beings, especially since each human generation is about 20 years.

But technological change and social change happens much, much faster. 

So our psychological and physical makeup is ill-suited to the environment we have made for ourselves. 


- Modern food supply results in a diet that is very different from what hunter-gatherers generally ate, which is part of the reason for the obesity epidemic.  Also the modern diet results in a different microbial ecosystem in the gut vs. hunter-gatherer diets, which has many health consequences that researchers are unraveling. 

- Common use of antibiotics also may be part of the reason for the high rate of allergies and autoimmune diseases in developed countries. 

- People are psychologically not well adapted to city living, where they have to interact with a lot of people they don't know. 

- We have a deep affinity for natural environments, yet many of us have to live in artificial environments.

- Video is seductive, that is part of internet addiction.

Other ways you can think of?

Views: 936

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

How is that an example of humans changing our environment in a way we haven't been able to evolve an adaptation to? 

Crowds, large crowds, being often in crowds, probably IS new in human evolution, and pretty stressful.  So that aspect of it, I do see.

Also, overpopulation is itself a product of human innovation, human cleverness in protecting ourselves from predators and disease - and we haven't evolved a way of controlling it yet.  Plants space themselves out, plants and animals have predators to control their population. 

Not at all!  I tried to answer my question myself.

But I was still wondering what your answer would have been. 

Yes, the discrepancy between haves and have-nots is a problem. 

But in what way is it a problem that arises because of our not evolving fast enough for the changes we ourselves have made?

Also, tribalism, which might have been adaptive for hunter-gatherers, may give someone the psychological license to start a nuclear war, and kill us all. 

Also humans are often aggressive, which probably helped our survival in the past - but we might end up exterminating ourselves because of our aggression, using our advanced technology. 

Humanity evolved very fast - I've seen things about the evolutionary "forcing" that resulted in humans. 

Perhaps an intelligent species could more gradually evolve, so there would be time to evolve so as to adapt to the new environment the species created for itself. 

The can-do spirit is very different now than when I was a kid. If one needed something, it was created on the spot with what was available. If something broke, you fixed it. My great-grandmother made all the clothes for the family, even her husband's Sunday-go-to-meet'n suits. My Native American great-grandmother made the most beautiful dresses, all lace and satin, and she looked as beautiful as royalty, and they were farmers in Oklahoma. She was probably only two or three generations away from weaving her own cloth.

Food production was grown by my grandmothers and beef came from the butcher shop. We had fish and game brought in by the hunters and fishermen of our families. Women canned and dried everything for use during winter and both grandmothers had huge root cellars and pantries, as big as their kitchens.  Both had chickens and we had chicken or beef roast on Sundays. We kids had chores to do and we did not whine. If we did, we got a whooping with a razor strap or branches from a birch tree. We picked wild apples, pears, plums, cherries and drove to Penawawa, southern WA state, for peaches.  

My grandfather had the first vehicle, a truck for hauling livestock, in our small town, and he owned the slaughter house and butcher shop. His boys cut ice on the creek in the winter and stored it in the ice house in sawdust and straw for the summer. He later had the ice business that my Dad and his brothers delivered block ice to ice chests all over town. He created the first refrigeration in town for his meat and ice businesses. 

My other grandfather worked in a huge hardware store, in little town terms, and carried everything from nuts and bolts to parts for the horse-pulled harvesting machines used in those days a generation before me. There were bolts of cloth, thread, lace by the yard, and felt hats. A generation before me the men came in from the farm on horses and gathered around the wood burning stove with a plexiglass window, in the back of the store where men exchanged wonderful stories, many of them fabrications, trying to outdo the others gathered around. There were spindle chairs, perhaps a dozen, all well worn. 

One generation before me, water was from individual wells and was drawn up by a pump mounted over the sink. The wood burning stove in the kitchen had a water tank attached to it, and in the winter the water filled one big tub where the family took turns taking baths on Saturday night in anticipation for Sunday school and church. Everybody smelled good Saturday night. In the mornings, the body odor knocked your socks off. That tradition continued into my generation. 

When fire started, the church bells rang, everyone took part, the healthy and strong went to the fires, whether in town or in the grain fields. Women started preparing foods to take to the fire as well as lemonade. The kids had responsibilities to keep water going to the fire crews. Old people watched the small children. Everyone had a job to do and did it without complaint or whine. Again, that old razor strap was used to maintain order. 

Family violence was very high, everybody did it or were victims of it. The strong beat on the weak, and it was "normal", not healthy but normal. 

One generation before me, kids walked to school, some for miles. Some rode horses and they were tied to a rail behind the school house. 

Sports were big things, with competing teams within towns and between towns. Girls didn't play sports as a general rule, although I had a great-aunt who went onto the field with the men. She was known as odd.

Banking was done by a local family in a small town bank. The deposits matched the loans and farmers always had loans to pay off. 

A railroad ran through town in those days, carrying farm products to market and bringing in supplies. The railroad tracks were pulled up before my father died. Trucks take on the hauling tasks now. 

When a person died, a local man came in a black wagon to pick them up and there usually was an open casket funeral in one of the churches in town followed by a huge pot-luck in the church. Neighbors came with food for days after. When a man of the house died, neighbors split up the farm chores between them. When a mother died, children were doled out to relatives or neighbors. When a child died, which was often because of whooping cough, diphtheria, small pox, and other diseases we don't see today, a father often carved a gravestone, some with a dove, or lamb, or angel on it. They were quite crude and lovely. 

Burial was in among the trees in patches of forest that was not farmland. 

I was born into the Great Depression. Then WW II came and most the young men left, my father and uncles to build airfields for contractors, we did not see them for several years.  Women took on factory jobs, my mother at Kaiser Aluminum Rolling Mill, and my aunts at other factories. My grandparents took in all us kids and we were well cared for, even as I suppose my grandparents were worn out. Women earned their own money, managed it, made decisions about the family, and took on all the responsibilities for the household. They kept my grandparents supplied with money for food and clothing for us, and they carried on with their contribution to the war effort. Everyone felt part of something very big.

When the men returned home, they expected to take back the decision making of family life and it just did not work. Women knew how to make and manage money, they learned how to solve problems and took on conflicts with skill and energy. The men were displaced, unhappy, violent, and the beatings got much worse. My father and uncles did things that even my grandfathers, who were autocrats, would not have done. Children growing up in violent homes learn violent responses to conflicts and problems. We, my generation mimicked our parents, until some of us women decided we would not be second class citizens any more. We left our husbands, got educations and jobs and careers and created a gentler, more caring, more responsive team with our children. 

My granddaughter's partner told me she would never stand still for a beating, or even an insult. She is strong, intelligent, and they build their family with skills I didn't even imagine when I was a child. 

Oh yes! I remember it all so well. I look at my great-grandchildren and see them as I remember when I was a child. Much has changed; much has stayed the same. 

You nailed it!


City living is directly stressful to people.  The crowds, living with people you don't know, the noise, being away from nature, all cause psychological difficulties,

It's interesting that you pick out financial difficulties as a city stress.  A lot of rural people are very poor. 

Luara, your question appears to ask for more ways to express pessimism.

I'm not pessimistic.

Homo Semi Sapiens have long been engaged in throwing off political tyranny. Much is happening now.

We have begun to throw off economic tyranny with employee ownership of businesses.

China's "One Child" policy is a beginning. Is it too little too late?

IF we are making Earth uninhabitable, we are doing it too slowly to draw attention.

If Homo Semi Sapiens exterminate ourselves, no one will care.

We will succeed long before our Sun explodes and cooks all life on Earth.

Enough for now; I have some chocolate to enjoy.

It's not necessarily either pessimistic or optimistic, it's a way of trying to understand the human situation, human problems. 

Humans are very adaptable, we will try to make do in whatever situation we are in.  That leads to people putting up with circumstances that are causing them problems. 

In my opinion one of the most fundamental human problems we face is that not all human beings have outgrown religion, especially fundamentalist religion. But even liberal and moderate religions make it possible for the development of extremist fundamentalist religious views. Religion has been, throughout the millennia, the cause of much oppression, genocide, and war, and still is today. Atheist leaders like Stalin or Pol Pot who were undoubtedly evil men did not do their evil deeds in the name of atheism. Their evil arose from their greed for absolute power over the people they ruled. In effect they set themselves up as gods. And while greed for absolute power over all is also manifested in extremist religious views, it is done in the name of God based on what the extremists believe what God wants them to do to realize his rule on earth.

Religion is anti-reason, anti-philosophy, and anti-science; perhaps not so much liberal and moderate theology, as they do recognize the benefits of most of science's discoveries and inventions, but when it comes to the biological science of evolution by natural selection, even liberal and moderate theists do not understand it as do 93% of scientists, that it is unintelligently guided by natural forces and processes without the aid of any supernatural being.

OK, in what way is this a problem that arises because of our not evolving fast enough for the changes we ourselves have made?




Update Your Membership :




Nexus on Social Media:


© 2018   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: Richard Haynes.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service