A Bite out of the Gene Pool

I saw this article and I had to Chuckle.

Crocodiles have been kicking it on planet 3 for about 55 million years. Haven’t changed too much in that time.

Our immediate ancestor to us and Neanderthals, Homo Antecessor, was around 1.2 M years ago, while about half a million years ago Neanderthals and Denisovan homo lineages split and homo sapien (us, kind of) shows up a scant 200K years ago.

Now I haven’t been around that long myself but while humans have evolved greatly in a short several million year period I’m sure Crocs have been doing the same Shit for the past 55 million years, namely biting dumb asses who get too close.

This leads to an important evolutionary and sociological question:

Why are Crocodile species going extinct while there remains way too many stupid humans?

I think the answer lies in the fields of Evolutionary Psychology and Technology.

Humanity in all her species and sub species has had a fairly rough go at it most of her existence. The fittest and strongest passed on their genes producing a hardy stock to carry the lineage into the future like every other form of life on the planet.

Part of this evolutionary process involved development of the brain and cognitive function. The part of the brain that tells you don’t get too close to the one ton reptile is the Amygdala. The Amygdala scans reality constantly looking for threats and is involved with learned memory and threat assessment.

Example: You see a primitive Neanderthal neighbor get eaten by a crocodile it sears a neural pathway into the lymbic system teaching you be careful around the big lizard. Next time you see a lizard that size you freeze, Amygdala recalls your neighbor being eaten, and before you know it the sympathetic nervous system responds and the adrenal medulla is producing a hormonal cascade to initiate survival mechanisms (Fight or Flight for the non nerds).

The better this system worked for Various Homos the greater the chance for offspring to continue and thrive.

And then came iPads.

Technology and modern living has stunted human development and potentially the evolutionary process itself. Instead of hard Amygdala developing life styles we live in such realitive comfort we don’t have actual stress.

Yes, your job may “stress you out” but sitting in a cubicle in a climate controlled environment plodding away at a keyboard to get computer digits created from the ether deposited into your bank account to buy food and Carmel macchiatos sure beats hunting a saber tooth tiger for dinner this WEEK.

Modern living has it so that these neuronal processes are so weakened your inability to evaluate threat assessment degrades to the point where you get bit in the ass by a crocodile while taking a selfie on your Thailand Vacation.

That’s the problem these days; you don’t have to be strong to survive. Any dumb ass can make it to tomorrow.

Because of modernity this tourist will survive and make a full recovery as she got quick modern medical attention (no Medivacs in the Bronze Age) instead of dying as crocodile lunch on a Thai river.

That’s the good news. The bad news is she can still reproduce passing on the stupid gene 😉



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