[ExI] addiction

Keith Henson hkeithhenson at gmail.com
Thu Mar 17 00:42:04 UTC 2016

On Wed, Mar 16, 2016 at 10:44 AM,  Kelly Anderson <kellycoinguy at gmail.com>
> On Sat, Apr 4, 2015 at 5:21 PM, Keith Henson <hkeithhenson at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I don't think people are going to get very far with understanding
>> addiction until they understand why human (some at least) can be
>> addicted at all.
>> You folks are sick of hearing about it from me, anyone have an
>> evolutionary pathway to this curious trait.
> To addiction? Why did addiction evolve? This seems ultimately simple to me
> (sorry for jumping in here nearly a year late, but the thread never got
> here and I thought I had something to add when it came up out of random
> chance.)

Addiction didn't evolve.  Every characteristic we have is either from
direct selection or a side effect of some characteristic that was
selected.  Addiction is clearly a side effect of chemicals that happen
to fit the endorphin binding site.  The reward circuits, of course,
did evolve.

And it's not just sex that causes the release of reward chemicals.
Attention from other humans is rewarding because integrated attention
amounts to status, and especially for males, status is essential for
getting nooky (or was in the stone age).


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