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The Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness?
- African origins (>160,000 bp)
- Homo evolved in a tropical climate
- Small foraging groups
- Present-day ecological mismatch
The Modern Western Diet?
- Plenty of Calories
- Inefficient consumption of micronutrients (iron, vitamins, antioxidants, folic acid).
- Electrolytes (K, NaCl, Ca) easily obtained, high proportion of sodium
- Carbs provide 50% of calories, high glycemic load
- Protein (RDA 12% calories) consumed high in fat
- Fat accounts for 40% total calories (mostly milk and meat)
- Fiber is easily avoided (<1/2 paleolithic diet)
The Paleolithic Prescription?
- High calorie intake and expenditure
- Emphasis on micronutrient-rich fruits, nuts, roots
- Minimal use of cereal grains
- High consumption of potassium (vs. sodium)
- Carbs from vegetables and fruits
- Fat comprises 20% total calories
- High protein consumption from lean animal sources
- No dairy
- Lots and lots of fiber
The Modern Human Condition?
- Are we zoologically superior?
- Do we control our own destiny?
- Have we transcended biological evolution?
Zoological Superiority: Whats the yardstick?
- Species longevity----- NO
- Species diversity----- NO
- Biomass ----------------NO
- Control of Biosphere YES
If evolution is active, how do we explain maladaptive behaviors?
- Short versus long term benefit
- Inclusive fitness (sociobiology)
- Primacy of cultural values (selection for reciprocal altruism)
- Natural selection acts on genes that influence behavior
- Social plasticity, language, nonreproductive sexuality, cooperative sexual division of labor are uniquely human
- Territoriality, xenophobia, aggression, bravery, religion are positively selected
- Autocatalysis model
Dawkins The Selfish Gene?
- The real competition in natural selection is among genes
- Individuals are epiphenomenal
- The meme is the new replicator
- Selection of memes accounts for cultural innovation
Evolution of risk-aversion?
- 1. Cultural/psychological pathology
- 2. Miscalculated cost:benefit ratio
- 3. Seeking fitness benefit in social context
- Human Behavioral Ecology (HBE)
- evolutionary stable strategies
- optimality theory
- Evolutionary Psychology (EP)
- environment of evolutionary adaptedness
- no blank slate; evolved psychological mechanisms
- Dual Inheritance Theory (DIT)
- culture is unique but subject to evolutionary process
- genes and culture must coevolve
- viral replication of culture packets
- memeplexes tangibly influence fitness
status-seeking for higher average fitness
anger, anxiety prime risk-taking
alleles damping risk aversion coevolve with cultural appetite for risk
risk meme an effective replicator