Monday, January 16


Something I’ve been wondering about recently is evolution, particularly the development of non-physical traits. Preferences and tastes are what I’m especially holding in mind. I guess this post is at least partially inspired by a National Geographic or Discover article my mom showed me some time ago about a study on what people find disgusting. As I remember, some things people found disgusting, like kissing in public, were cultural. Other things though, like dead and rotting animals, were found disgusting universally. Could there have once been ancient people who found decay enticing and feasted upon it only to be killed by the diseases carried? My question then though is what prevented those same ancient people with the hardiest immune systems from surviving? Were there just too many and too virulent diseases on their rotten meat? Are we born with some innate tastes that keep us alive? Do we know as babies to avoid rancid pork and molding bread?

There’s no doubt in my mind that tastes are rather heavily influenced by nurture. If a person found themselves in financial difficulty, say a college student, for a while and spent that time eating a lot of cheap ramen noodles, it’s not hard to imagine that they won’t like them later in life. On the flip side, some people learn to enjoy foods they once hated. I hear truffles are like that.

Something worth thinking about I guess.

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