Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id MAA23087 (8.6.9/5.3[ref email@example.com] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from firstname.lastname@example.org); Tue, 21 Aug 2001 12:04:54 +0100 Message-ID: <3B823FC0.FA5C1329@bioinf.man.ac.uk> Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2001 12:02:24 +0100 From: Chris Taylor <Christopher.Taylor@man.ac.uk> Organization: University of Manchester X-Mailer: Mozilla 4.77 [en] (Windows NT 5.0; U) X-Accept-Language: en To: email@example.com Subject: Re: Spoiled Reward-Pathway Hypothesis References: <3B8055B5.8367.2C4117@localhost> <3B81CC5F.17306.7FA755@localhost> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Precedence: bulk Reply-To: email@example.com
> On 20 Aug 2001, at 16:11, Philip Jonkers wrote:
> > Philip:
> > > > Natural selection ought to favor birds who aren't drunk
> > > an
> > > > entire season. I am well aware also that drugs (including alcohol)
> > > are
> > > > not uncommon for usage in the animal kingdom. I cannot imagine,
> > > > really, that natural selection would allow for animal `druggies'
> > > > to emerge and maintain in the extremely competitive and demanding
> > > natural
> > > > world.
> > Joe:
> > > It's a cost-benefit analysis; when fermented barries are the only
> > > (or the major) source of food available, the collateral damage some
> > > drunken birds do to themselves could be much less than the massive
> > > die-off afflicting starving flocks. Of course, selection pressures
> > > would progressively weed out those birds unable to handle their
> > > liquor, the ones who could handle it would live to reproduce, and
> > > subsequent generations would find the equation more and more in
> > > favor of the berry-eating stoners.
> > Hi Joe, thanks also for the feedback. Fair enough, natural selection
> > seems to favor the sober animal and permits the occasional user. So
> > much for the animal kingdom, I'm still left with humans who, I think
> > it's safe to say, generally are susceptible to develop addiction of
> > whatever kind. Can you account for this with arguments ignoring human
> > culture?
> We may feel a greater need to keep our bigger brains occupied.
Lots of drugs make animals feel better about things (calmer, happier,
weirder etc.), but humans control their environment in a way no other
animal does. We have taken ourselves out of the 'red in tooth and
claw'-style selection, so we are released to tickle our own pleasure
centres because the risk side of the equation is diminished. Other
animals would if they could (and some do).
Anyone got any good alcoholic lab rat stories?
Chris Taylor (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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