Have addictive personalities aided human evolution?

| | February 1, 2019
1-27-2019 drugs and addiction
Image credit: Medical News Today
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

We’re so inundated with bleak facts about addiction that it may be hard to perceive any silver lining. It’s nearly impossible to imagine, but there could be an evolutionary advantage to the addictive tendencies that cause many to throw away relatively safe and undisrupted lives to walk on addiction’s perilous ledge. As a former addict who is now a psychology and neuroscience professor at Bucknell University, I’ve dedicated my life’s research to learning the root causes of addiction.

Though something as complex as addiction certainly doesn’t have a sole cause, some of us are prone to it because we are predisposed to especially appreciate new experiences. Where someone naturally more cautious might retreat from novel and potentially risky opportunities, addicts and potential addicts are more inclined to perceive them as [pleasurable.]

Related article:  Do we really seek partners who look like our parents?

The population benefits by having a mixed pool of risk-averse and risk-seeking individuals—some to caution us to remain secure in what’s familiar, and others eager for the unknown. Which is better for survival clearly depends upon the particular conditions; at least some of us will survive if the group expresses tendencies toward both strategies.

Perhaps by developing alternate channels for the natural drive for new experiences and challenges to flow, the need to seek exciting states in chemical fixes would diminish. Even better, society as a whole might benefit as novelty-seekers trailblaze for us all.

Read full, original post: The Evolutionary Advantages of an Addictive Personality

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
a a b b a f ac a

Video: Death by COVID: The projected grim toll in historical context

The latest statistics, as of July 10, show COVID-19-related deaths in U.S. are just under 1,000 per day nationally, which is ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
types of oak trees

Infographic: Power of evolution? How oak trees came to dominate North American forests

Over the course of some 56 million years, oaks, which all belong to the genus Quercus, evolved from a single undifferentiated ...
biotechnology worker x

Can GMOs rescue threatened plants and crops?

Some scientists and ecologists argue that humans are in the midst of an "extinction crisis" — the sixth wave of ...
food globe x

Are GMOs necessary to feed the world?

Experts estimate that agricultural production needs to roughly double in the coming decades. How can that be achieved? ...
eating gmo corn on the cob x

Are GMOs safe?

In 2015, 15 scientists and activists issued a statement, "No Scientific consensus on GMO safety," in the journal Environmental Sciences ...
Screen Shot at PM

Charles Benbrook: Agricultural economist and consultant for the organic industry and anti-biotechnology advocacy groups

Independent scientists rip Benbrook's co-authored commentary in New England Journal calling for reassessment of dangers of all GMO crops and herbicides ...
Screen Shot at PM

ETC Group: ‘Extreme’ biotechnology critic campaigns against synthetic biology and other forms of ‘extreme genetic engineering’

The ETC Group is an international environmental non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Canada whose stated purpose is to monitor "the impact of emerging technologies and ...
Share via
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend