Are We Slowing Evolution With Our Health Crazes?

July 2, 2008

by — Posted in Personal Writing, Technology

Picture from here

There is always a new health craze that will make us live longer, be smarter, procreate faster, etc. etc.   The question I have is this truly the right thing to do.   It seems kind of selfish to me.  For example pregnant women these days can’t smoke, can’t drink alcohol, can’t drink caffeine, can’t change litter boxes and that’s just the tip of the icebergs.   They also must take vitamin after vitamin to ensure a healthy pregnancy.   I’m not saying it’s wrong.  I am also not saying it’s something that should be change.  I am saying however it’s selfish.

We may be enhancing and increasing our own lives and the lives of our immediate offspring, but what about a few more generations down the road?  While the old saying goes “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger” isn’t the opposite also true then “What ever makes it easier makes us weaker”?  As a species evolution, hardship, and adversity is somethign that gets passed along genetically and our children hopefully evolve because of it.   If every mother was a crack addict doesn’t logic tell us that generations down the line that eventually babies would be immune to crack, all we need is that mutant gene to crop up and bang no more crack addiction 2000 years from now.

Caffeine itself used to have teh effects of a harsh drug.  We have so much caffeine in our systems these days it’s considered nothing to our bodies, we’ve built up an immunity to it’s effect for the most part.   I know that a few months of no-doz and vivarin inspired nights got me to the point that I needed a whole box to even effect me at one point (no I don’t do caffeine pills anymore mostly since it’s a wast of cash over the last decade).  Bodies build up immunities and we pass those along to our children.

There is one point in time where we can become selfish however,  this is after procreation.  After we have passed along our damaged genes to our children and they learn how to deal with them, they in turn can hopefully gain strength from them and turn them around, then they pass them on to their children and the cycle begins anew.  When we have our kids and get past the age where we can have children, then we can become selfish.   This is where the evolution cycle is a moot point, unless of course your donating sperm, eggs, or DNA to be passed down to future generations.   Once we are no longer passing down genetic material there will be no evolution happening and it will stagnant.  Since we don’t need to necessarily die sooner, it then is allowable from an evolutionary stand point to extend our lives with whatever health craze is in existence.

I may come off as cold and not caring because of this post, and I know I hold the same selfish for my child as does everyone else.   It is selfish though, it holds back our species from evolving against these problems.   So I may say that this is part of the solution, but in the end I’m just as much of the problem.

I swear hearing what my parents endured with toys that their generation must be immune to lead poisoning – only their generation didn’t pass it down to ours.

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