How Evolution Holds Us Back

It’s cliché to talk about how evolution shapes human behavior.

But… I think there’s value in recognizing all the ways that evolution works against us in a modern world.

Food is a great example. Our bodies learned to store fat and enjoy high-energy foods (e.g. sugar) when food was scarce. But now that food is abundant those traits work against us.

What are other ways evolution works against us?

  • Avoiding talking to strangers
  • Being easily embarrassed for breaking social norms
  • Fearing rejection
  • Avoiding the discomfort of exercise
  • Staying in our comfort zone
  • Tribalism: defending your group for no reason other than they’re your group
  • Seeking status for its own sake
  • Generally avoiding risk

A lot of this boils down to staying in your comfort zone, which makes sense: doing what you’ve always done with the people you’ve always done it is a great way to avoid dying.

But it’s not really a great way to live.

What else? What other ways does evolution hold humans back?

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