Photograph via snooOG

r/evolutionary is for those that want to learn the real reasons why us humans do what we do. It is for those want to study and research everything to do with evolutionary biology/psychology.

r/evolutionary is for those that want to learn the real reasons why us humans and other animals do what we do. It is for those want to study and research everything to do with evolutionary biology/psychology.



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Participants Wanted!!

If anyone has 20-30 minutes to click the link below and complete a survey for my dissertation it would be really appreciated:))

We are looking for participants aged 18 or over. You will be asked to complete a questionnaire investigating the impacts of life experiences and individual differences on the likelihood of engaging in antisocial behaviour. This questionnaire should take no longer than 20-30 minutes to complete. For participation, you will be given the opportunity to win one of two £75 Flexi eGift Card - which can be spent in many places including Amazon, and many supermarkets. If you have any queries/questions, please feel free to contact the researchers via the below emails.

Shanté Browne – ed18s2b@leeds.ac.uk
Charlotte Ball – ps20cb@leeds.ac.uk
Olivia Bloom- ps20ob@leeds.ac.uk
Daisy Elliott - ps20dje@leeds.ac.uk
Holly Sherlock - ps19hms@leeds.ac.uk

Access link: https://leedspsychology.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eWYnELpCVEs0zUq

1 Comment
12:06 UTC


Why does a scrunched forehead suggest seriousness/gravity in all in all human cultures and social groups?

1 Comment
22:25 UTC


Mark Solms, South African psychoanalyst and neuropsychologist, discusses his new book on the source of consciousness - I imagined consciousness emerged from our brains when they got complex enough. Rather it seems consciousness is deeply rooted in some of the oldest parts of our brain!

1 Comment
14:28 UTC


Q: what effect does wearing a mask 8-12 hours per day have on our evolution? How will it affect the growth of child, both mentally and physically

16:59 UTC


More Sun = More Health


Very short version:

Avoiding the sun doubles your risk of death.

Short version:

Get sun exposure regularly to be healthy

The sun is critical to

· general health (e.g. Vitamin D and not only)

· circadian rhythm (morning sun sets the clock) which then sets your sleep and affects likelihood of all chronic illnesses

· happiness ( the sun increases serotonin production, depression correlates with vitamin D deficiency and latitude)

· cognition and productivity (study shows sunlight absence impairs cognition)

· eyesight (myopia comes from insufficient sunlight).

Start gradually and build up to long daily exposure. Doing it this way does not increase your chances for skin cancer, quite the opposite. Regular sun exposure reduces skin cancer incidence versus people who avoid it most of the time.

Long version

This morning right after I woke up I went outside for a ten minute walk. It was -10 degree Celsius and a small blizzard.

I go outside around dawn every day.

It’s not masochism or fitness.

It’s because it sets my circadian clock so I wake up and then I feel sleepy in the evening. It lifts my mood even if it’s miserable outside like today. It activates my brain to start working instead of moping. It makes coffee a morning pleasure, not a wake-up drug.

It’s one of the many ways in which I get as much sun exposure as I can. Others include working next to a window. Taking a walk at noon, after eating. Working outside when it’s warm. Frequent activities outdoors.

The sun increases my health and wellbeing.

Vitamin D vs Cancer?

“You need to protect your skin from the sun every day, even when it’s cloudy,” American Academy of Dermatology

However doctors have been telling us to avoid the sun for decades. It’s the villain that gives you cancer.

This alarmist messaging has become so powerful that it feels like it’s dangerous to stand even one second in direct sunlight. Dermatologists even recommend sunscreen when indoors now.

Does this sound absurd to you? Our ancestors spent most of their life in the sun. How can it be so harmful?

One benefit of sun exposure which the medical profession recognizes is vitamin D. Your body manufactures vitamin D in response to UV radiation (UV-B to be specific). This vitamin exists in certain foods but only in small quantities. It is impossible to get your requirement of Vitamin D from food alone.

Having deficient levels of vitamin D correlates with: bone health, immunity, cardiovascular disease, multiple cancers, asthma, blood pressure, fat, respiratory infections, COVID-19 severity. There are too many studies to cite, here is the examine.com page which has many of the relevant ones.

I found I had severe vitamin D deficit one year ago. It was awful.

I was a pale copy of myself. No energy, no power, no drive, no clarity of thought. It put me into a crisis of identity because I was incapable of being who I thought I was.

All from vitamin D.

The official response to this problem of insufficient sun exposure is to supplement vitamin D. The message is Take these pills to replace sun exposure.

It is good business. In the U.S. consumer spending on vitamin D supplements quadrupled from 2008 to 2019, exceeding 1 Billion Dollars yearly.

Unfortunately the data on vitamin D supplementation is not positive.

This research, this research and this research show vitamin D supplementation had little benefit in terms of health outcomes. It raised serum levels but did not lower cancer, heart disease, or stroke.

This meta-analysis shows no benefit in muscle health. This study in Danish elderly found that vitamin D supplementation actually correlated with higher bone fracture rates.

Vitamin D deficit correlates with poor health outcomes, but vitamin D supplementation does not improve them.

What is going on?

Vitamin D might not be relevant in isolation. Rather it is a marker for sun exposure. This exposure probably has more effects, not just raising vitamin D levels. Plus, vitamin D slowly produced by your body in response to sunlight exposure is not the same as vitamin D ingested in pills.

We avoid sunlight for fear of cancer. Then supplement to compensate. But the supplements don’t work.

What is the solution? The obvious one would be to get sun exposure, but we run into the fear of cancer.

Let’s look at how much risk of cancer actually comes from sun exposure.

Sun causes cancer? Not so much

Skin cancer is well known because sunscreen companies use it as the boogey man to sell their products.

Yet it is rare. For every person who dies from skin cancer, 100 people die from cardiovascular disease. In the U.S. less than 3 in 100,000 people die from skin cancer yearly.

Who gets melanoma and who does not? Does it depend on sun exposu

Does it depend on sun exposure?

Sunscreen was introduced in the 1940s. If it protected against skin cancer from the sun, then we would see rates of it dropping.

Instead it has been steadily climbing since then. This suggests sunscreen is not useful against melanoma, and might even be a negative factor.

One way sunscreen could be damaging is that it protects against sunburn. But sunburn is a warning mechanism. When you get it, you know to get out of the sun. Without the warning signal, you spend too much time and get sun damage, but don’t feel it.

As we all know, sunburn comes when you do too much at once. Which correlates with melanoma incidence.

Indoor office workers have the same or higher risk of melanoma as people with outdoors professions. If you are an accountant you have maybe higher risk than the construction worker. This is despite getting an estimated 10 times less UV exposure.

Another study in Sweden found that people who are regularly exposed to the sun are more likely to get melanomas. But they are eight times less likely to die from them.

When you are usually not exposed to the sun, but then go on a 3 day beach holiday you overload your body’s defenses. The result: cancer. If you are exposed regularly, your body adapts. You also learn to avoid sunburn and thus prevent the damage.

"Tumour development may be linked to occasional exposure to short periods of intense sunlight, such as at weekends or on holiday. The higher incidence of malignant melanoma in indoor workers compared to outdoor workers supports that notion." World Health Organisation

Rare sun exposure increases risk of melanomas.

To prevent melanomas, you could either avoid the sun completely or adapt to constant sun exposure.

Our natural environment is the sun

All early humans evolved outdoors beneath a tropical sun. Like air, water, and food, sunlight was a key part of our environment. Our bodies evolved to protect our skin from receiving too much radiation through melanin, a natural sunscreen. Our dark-skinned African ancestors produced so much of it that they did not worry about the sun.

As humans migrated to northern latitudes and faced months of light shortages each winter, they evolved to produce less melanin when the sun was weak, to absorb as much sun as possible. They also produced much more of a protein that stores vitamin D for later use. In spring, the sun provided more UV and they gradually form a sun-blocking tan.

Sunburn was a rarity until we began spending most time indoors. Now, pale office workers went to the beach in summer and got a sudden overload of strong sun. They got sunburn and melanoma.

Dark skinned people rarely get melanoma. The rate is 3.2 per 100,000 in Caucasians, 0.8 per 100,000 in Hispanics, and 0.4 per 100,000 in Black People, 0.3 per 100,000 in Asian/Pacific Islander. On the rare occasion when African Americans get melanoma, it’s especially lethal. However it is mostly a specific type which appears on the palms, soles, or under the nails. It is not caused by sun exposure.

Sun = life

Sun is great for health.

Many things are said to be good for health. It can be hard to distinguish the magnitude of impact. For sun we can make it simple:

Sun avoidance doubles your risk of death.

A study published in Journal of Internal Medicine followed 30,000 women in Sweden over 20 years. It compared women who avoided the sun to those who exposed themselves to it. Initially it looked at blood clots (less often in sun worshipers), diabetes (less in sun worshipers), melanoma (higher in sun worshipers but they were eight times less likely to die from it). Then the researchers looked at overall mortality and found that women who avoided the sun were twice more likely to die within this timespan than those who exposed themselves to it.

“Avoidance of sun exposure is a risk factor of a similar magnitude as smoking, in terms of life expectancy.” says lead researcher in this study Dr. Pelle Lindqvist.

What to do

Gradually expose yourself to the sun each day.

It’s harder in a big city, but not impossible. Wear short sleeves. Go out for a walk as a break from work. Eat out when it is warm enough.

Each week try to get a little more exposure. At the first feeling of sunburn, back off. Avoid exposure for a few days to give your body time to heal.

Get morning light every day. You need a certain amount of light exposure to tell your body that it has woken up and the day has started. If you don’t get it when you wake up, then your circadian clock is delayed. This will imbalance your sleep which then has major negative effects.

Depending on the season and latitude, optimize for different times of day. If you live at the Ecuator, avoid noon year long because there is very high UV. The farther north you live, the more seasonal it gets. Where I live now, there is no UVB in most of winter for example. The more Northern you live, the more you should seek out noon during low UV months and avoid it in peak summer.

Adjust for your skin tone. The darker you are, the more sunlight you need. This is especially true if you live in a Northern latitude when UV-B decreases or disappears during winter months. You need to build up for those periods. On the other side, if you are pale, you need to be more careful in creating gradual adaptation. Avoid sunburn with clothes rather than sunscreen. Push for more exposure, but don’t overdo it at once.

Don’t wear sunglasses. There are cells in the eyes which detect how much light hits your body. These are your body’s way to measure how much light exposure you are getting.

It is reasonable to assume that they influence your skin’s response to light. IF the eyes detect more light, then the skin darkens more. This is a theory, I don’t know of any scientific study proving this yet, but better safe than sorry.

The implication is that sunglasses will increase your chance of sun damage. They fool the body into thinking less light is hitting it than the reality. Again, it’s not proven. But our ancestors did not have RayBan-s so there is a possibility it is true.

I have not worn sunglasses in three years. I go out into the sun a lot. Most people say excessively. I never wear sunscreen. I have not gotten a single sunburn in these three years.

If you want to make your life ideal, subscribe to this newsletter. https://yourunconscious.substack.com/

Further reading:

Circadian Code - Satchin Panda

Why we sleep - Matthew Walker

The World Until Yesterday - Jared Diamond

Guns, Germs and Steel - Jared Diamond

Why the West Rules, For Now - Ian Morris

Lifespan - David Sinclair

14:44 UTC


The journey of man, (this is purely artistic, I know it's oversimplified and not an entirely accurate depiction of evolution)

00:24 UTC


Academic research

Hi all, I'm doing some academic research on attraction was hoping that it might be of interest to some of you. If you enjoy evaluating other people and/or are comfortable talking about yourself romantically, take this 5 minute survey to contribute to psychological research on attraction. science thanks you https://monash.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3sbv6OZAKUDQFkp

02:24 UTC


The Origin of Flight--What Use is Half a Wing? | HHMI BioInteractive Video

1 Comment
07:30 UTC


Human Nature: More than a Blank Slate

00:25 UTC


Why did so many creatures evolve in an aesthetically pleasing way? It seems like if functionality is the main driver behind evolution then shouldn’t we be sort of deformed looking?

It’s hard to explain exactly what I mean. Liken evolution to tool making. When we’re making a tool we don’t usually consider how it will look . although later people do when trying to sell that tool and compete with other brands. But for the most part we just want the tool to do it’s fucking job regardless of how it looks. So a lot of tools are pretty ugly until companies start to dress them up. Take a jack for cars for example. Not much to look at.

If evolution follows the same basic idea, that is that you just want something that can do it’s fucking job (in this case, thrive in, or at least survive, it’s environment). Then why do so many animals look so cool or cute or badass or funny even? Is there some evolutionary benefit behind aesthetics?

Also I admittedly might have no idea what I’m talking about. It’s just a weird thought I had.

06:11 UTC


The Science Behind Valentine's Day

20:24 UTC


Evolution, having children, and happiness

"Martin Seligman, the father of Positive psychology, has taken a step back to look over the years of research in the field that he created and presided over. In his most recent book, 𝘍𝘭𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘩, he suggests that the field overreached in trying to make happiness the measure of well-being and life satisfaction. 𝗦𝗲𝗹𝗶𝗴𝗺𝗮𝗻 𝗽𝗼𝗶𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝗰𝗵𝗶𝗹𝗱𝗿𝗲𝗻, 𝘄𝗵𝗼 𝗶𝗻 𝗽𝗼𝗹𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗰𝗵 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗮𝘀𝘀𝗼𝗰𝗶𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗺𝗮𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗮𝗹 𝗱𝗶𝘀𝗰𝗼𝗿𝗱. 𝗪𝗵𝘆 𝗱𝗼 𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿𝘄𝗶𝘀𝗲 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗽𝗲𝗼𝗽𝗹𝗲 𝗸𝗲𝗲𝗽 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗺? Perhaps there is more to a life well-lived than how happy you were living it." Source.

Where does one begin? First, do you see how Seligman bites the bullet on procreation? "If people procreate despite becoming less happy as a result — then by God, to Hell with happiness! (Thanks, Martin, but I'll pass on your armchair philosophizing and stick with happiness as my goal.)

The explanation for why "otherwise reasonable people" keep having children is well known: Evolution has implanted drives and inclinations in people that are geared toward passing on their genes, 𝘯𝘰𝘵 toward making them happier. Evolution does not care if you are happy.

It's the same "reason" an "otherwise reasonable" middle-aged executive bangs his 25-year-old secretary, gets caught, gets taken to the cleaners in divorce court (losing half his earnings over the 20-year marriage), and ends up just as miserable — if not more so — with a lighter wallet and a shitty marriage to his callow former secretary. Yet no one, not even Martin Seligman, concludes this type of behavior is part of a "well-lived life."

"Evolution does not make happiness its goal; it aims simply at evolution and nothing else."

— Friiedrich Nietzsche, 𝘋𝘢𝘺𝘣𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘬

"[T]o say that something is 'natural' is not to say that it is good. There is no reason to adopt natural selection's 'values' as our own. But presumably if we want to pursue values that are at odds with natural selection's, we need to know what we're up against."

— Robert Wright, 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘔𝘰𝘳𝘢𝘭 𝘈𝘯𝘪𝘮𝘢𝘭

16:38 UTC


PARTICIPANTS NEEDED: Evolutionary Psychology Research Survey

Hit the link to take this short survey! (You're helping a college student with her final project) Thanks in advance! :) http://fullerton.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cuJGojrLQ88UpxP


20:28 UTC


Can a tournament species evolve to become pair-bonding species and vice-versa?

(Background: I am not very well versed in either Biology or Psychology. I am a computer programmer who is interested in evolution and psychology.)

I was wondering if a tournament species can turn into a pair-bonding species or vice-versa. If yes, under what circumstances? (any examples will be helpful)

15:39 UTC


Why did men evolve to have prostate orgasms?

14:25 UTC


How Hard Is Car Racing Really?

1 Comment
08:51 UTC


Mother Nature.

Mother nature.

As man developed he created structures in an effort to distance himself from that which he once was. The keeps he created kept the beasts in the woods at bay and in doing so he sought independence from the mother which had first given him form. 

In there construction a subconscious desire had begun to manifest; a yearning to control that which he could not yet understand.

And so, since man first arose from the ape he has sought dominion over all things, chiefly the power over death by which he has not yet achieved and so it is, that the great mother comes to claim that which was once hers: where the defined individual fades into the greyness of the collective.

01:31 UTC


Status seeking and one-upping

Status seeking and one-upping are the most under appreciated and under valued of the human foibles that lead to disasterous results. It can be a force for good, but more often than not it is the opposite. Harriet the Hall monitor for example. BBQ Becky. It has been stated that we see it as a positive in ourselves, but a threat when we see others do it.

05:48 UTC


METAMORPHOSIS: The Life cycle of a Frog

12:30 UTC


A discussion with Dr. Michael Rose, UC Irvine, on studying evolution to understand and impact biologic aging

15:00 UTC


Were we human involved with minimal hair to use fire more safety ?

Please just answer my question 🧐

16:33 UTC


So my father-in-law recently started a podcast on evolutionary biology in culture and politics but he has no idea how to promote himself so I thought I'd help!

09:28 UTC

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