Re: Evolution, "adaptation", and what's currently adaptive

Bryant (
5 Sep 1996 10:37:13 -0600

In article <>,
Len Piotrowski <> wrote:
>Sugar receptors only for Pleistocene humans? Jealousy arose because of the
>lack of human laws?

Male sexual jealousy no longer serves an adaptive purpose (a
fitness-enhancing purpose), I argued, because of laws which punish
expressions of this emotion.

Sugar was a limiting resource in ancestral environments, which certainly
include the Pleistocene African savanna, but are no longer limiting. A
craving which could have been adaptive then is now clearly unhealthy.

>> Have you even read Gould and Lewontin's famous 1979
>>paper? EVEN THEY say that selection --not drift-- is evolution's most
>>powerful force. They just argue that adaptationists see EVERY trait as
>Yes I have, but you've missed my point. I make claim, as you might allow,
>that meaningful human behaviors are not currently adaptive. However, I have
>reservations about meaningful human interaction having ever been adaptive.

You don't think that suckling one's baby, responding to its cry, picking
as lovers healthy mates, had any adaptive significance throughout human
evolution, in other words?