Wednesday, 23 March 2011


I'm going to run with the last post I made, but this time I'm not going to get so personal :P

So last post I emoted about the tribulations of being part of a genetic relay race.

That's just one tiny little branch of the vast tree of humanity though. The branch may die out but the tree itself won't die so easily and in fact still has a fair amount of growing to do.

As a species we are dynamic and we change as fast as our environment does, which is good because we are changing our environment at a rapid pace. If you don't believe me then simply look around you, look at the demographics. The global human population is still increasing (although the rate at which it is increasing is actually decreasing). And the biological prerogative of any species (plant, virus, animal, you name it) is to propagate.

What fascinates me though is the age group which is doing all the adapting. I know my grandpa is not adapting, as smart as he is. That is purely anecdotal evidence, but I think we can all agree that in general the elderly are generally incapable of adapting to our dynamic environment.

The opposite extreme is little kids. In some ways they are the most adaptable, babies absorb spoken language like sponges. They are the quickest to learn and assimilate new knowledge. But unfortunately babies cannot survive on their own, they are adaptable but the adaptation is adapting from helplessness, they still have a fair way to go.

Somewhere beteen the ages of 8 and 60 I think is where most of the adaptative survival skills are in place and working. I start at 8 years old because I know that in many third world countries, the family unit is somewhat of a geratocracy with all the little kiddies looking after their parents. And certainly there are enough 8 year old soldiers In the nastier places of the world, too many in my opinion, but the point is, that they survive.

Physically, a man (or woman) reaches his/her physical peak at about 18. So physically this is where we are most physically adaptable. However in the western world the threats are more pyschological than physical. Instead of having to dodge bullets you have to dodge taxes and lay-offs. And in some western countries the ramifications for not being able to outwit your fellow man can be quite deadly if there is no welfare system in place.

In some ways the 20 year olds are most adapatable here; their brains are fully developed and their social skills honed from years of dealing with bullies and classmates. But the older generations have a key advantage, for starters, they have a lot more experience (although at some age that experience becomes obsolete with the changing world), but most of all they don't have to adapt so much because they have more monetary resources. If taxes rise then the rich can afford to pay, but the poor HAVE to change their ways lest they starve. Same if they lose their job.

So again it seems it is the young (and possibly the poor) are doing most of the adapting.

As such I look forward to growing old and not having to be so adaptable and also so I can do this:

1 comment:

  1. older people always think their experiences are relevant.