Evolutionary Mismatch Might Be Why We Struggle in Today’s World : ScienceAlert | Science

Research is showing that many of our contemporary problems, such as the rising prevalence of mental health issues, are emerging from rapid technological advancement and modernisation.

A theory that can help explain why we respond poorly to modern conditions, despite the choices, safety and other benefits they bring, is evolutionary mismatch.

Mismatch happens when an evolved adaptation, either physical or psychological, becomes misaligned with the environment.

Take moths and some species of nocturnal flies, for example. Because they have to navigate in the dark, they evolved to use the moon for direction. But due to the invention of artificial lighting, many moths and flies are drawn to street lamps and indoor lights instead.

The same happens for humans. A classic example is our “sweet tooth”, which motivated ancestral humans to search for calorie-rich foods in nutritionally scarce environments.

This sweet tooth becomes mismatched to the modern world when food companies mass…

Source www.sciencealert.com

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