Human Evolutionary Mismatches

Human Evolutionary Mismatches

Running with shoes VS. Barefoot

The first evolutionary mismatch I want to address is the jogging article that was provided to us. After reading through this article I am somewhat convinced that jogging barefoot seems better for our health and our feet. This article also drew interest to me because in high school I ran track. I was a distance runner and I went through some minor injuries like shin splints and minor groin pulls. I wonder if these injuries were caused due to my running shoes. Every time the new track season started I would buy a new pair of shoes but it did take a while for them to almost adjust to my feet and see how each stride feels when I ran with them. On the other hand I have seen people jogging barefoot and It just seems to “wrong” and “foreign” thing to me because I was always used to jogging and running in nice running shoes.

“Nike running shoe design” by Charles Ho is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 

When running with running shoes they force you to plant your heel first. When you run barefoot you tend to plant your toes before your heel. According to the article running barefoot is actually way better for our legs and feet and is less injury prone. One thing that may have caused this change of running could be the environment and natural selection. Another environmental cause of this was peoples diets with sugars and fats. A long time ago these were not as readily avialible but now they obviously are and that can contribute to obesity and a reason for us humans to buy actual running shoes.

Lactose Tolerance

Does lactose tolerance/intolerance represent a mismatch between our evolutionary history and the modern world?

I believe this is a pure example of an evolutionary mismatch between our evolutionary history. Today we live in a huge environment and a lot of the foods that we eat on a daily basis have diary in them. I know a fair share of lactose intolerant people and it doesn’t seem to fun to be honest. Anyways, this is for sure a mismatch because of the way we have domesticated dairy animals and the mutation just randomly becoming a thing itself. Another example of this is anything with cheese or ice cream. A super cheesy cheeseburger or a huge bowl of ice cream are good examples of large amounts of dairy that are made for people with the right gene that allows them to process lactose and be tolerant with it.

“Ice Cream” by Sean MacEntee is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Do you think natural selection is acting against the preference for fats and sugars in modern humans?

I agree with this. I feel I find out that more and more people I meet and previously knew are lactose intolerant. Like stated in the article the the lactase gene is switched on with someone who can eat dairy and it seems natural selection is spreading this to more diary dependent environments.

Our preference of fats and sugars.

One explanation of why we love to eat fats and sugars is natural selection. I mean who doesn’t like to binge eat candy or have Five Guys. Those are some yummy but terrible fats and sugars that we eat. Our ancestors back then must of discovered some variation with their own taste buds and the types of foods they could make that included more amounts of fats and sugars. And that is where I think the variation and discovery exists is in the the quantity of fats and sugars being consumed. As time goes on more foods were probably discovered, people got way better at cooking, and as a result many had a strong taste for fats and sugars in the foods they eat. I feel that is the most credible reason of why humans nowadays rely on fats and sugars and are in all of our diets.

Other examples of evolutionary mismatches.

Another good example of an evolutionary mismatch is parents killing their own step children VS. their own biological children. One thing to note here is there is for sure a psychological effect that comes into play. The first thing to mention is the biological fact of it. A parent may prefer raising a biological child that they passed their genes on to VS. an adopted or step child who is not really “theirs” in a sense.

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