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I was thinking about evolution, and I was wondering what kind of effects the evolution of humans could have on what we do and like. Like how most people seem to prefer cold water over warm water, could that be becuase cold water tended to be running water, which had less harmful microorganisms than what tended to be in warm or stagnit water? What other things like that could there be like that?

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I was thinking about evolution, and I was wondering what kind of effects the evolution of humans could have on what we do and like. Like how most people seem to prefer cold water over warm water, could that be becuase cold water tended to be running water, which had less harmful microorganisms than what tended to be in warm or stagnit water? What other things like that could there be like that?

I think that Chinese people prefer hot water to cold water for that very reason. Boiling water kills the microorganisms, making their otherwise unhealthy water much healthier. Everyone in China drinks tea, and no one drinks cold water.

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Quite a lot of things could be explained like that, along with many of our psychological tendencies. There's actually a field that does so, called Evolutionary Psychology.

 

However, such things *do* fall into the old evolutionary trap of "adaptive just-so stories", in which seemingly plausible hypotheses are simply accepted at face value, rather than tested. After all, just because we *can* explain it via adaptation (or a particular adaptive scenario) doesn't mean we got it right, and testing these things is hard.

 

Mokele

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I suppose things have changed by now, but my Mom was a Brit. When she was growing up they believed that eating or drinking anything cold was bad for you because it slowed the digestion.

 

She said some Americans opened an Ice Cream Parlor in a nearby town, and couldn't understand why no one wanted to buy it.

 

She never put ice in iced tea either.

 

As far as preferring cold water, in general, it tastes better. We used to have a well - it had a lot of iron and sulphides in it - water from the tap tasted downright nasty. It was tolerable tasting if it was cold and you drank it quickly.

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I don`t think it`s an Evolutionary thing exactly, I like Milk to cold, infact the colder the better esp with the little ice crystals in it, I don`t like Hot milk, and milk at Body heat (or Cow temperature) would make me hurl!

 

but surely the freshest most clean milk would be that directly out of the cow before any further accumulation of potential pathogens were possible? (from an early veiwpoint), so milk at that temp would be the most palatable using your idea.

 

and I don`t know anyone that could or would drink body temp milk?

 

 

only anecdotal sure, but just as contrary to the 1`st post.

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I think some prefferences like that come from environment...I like certain drinks out and certain cold, but I doubt much adaptive traits like that would come from evolution, any evolutionary gain would have been lost when we started cleaning our water, also cold lake in the winter are still extremely bad for you to drink...

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but surely the freshest most clean milk would be that directly out of the cow before any further accumulation of potential pathogens were possible?

 

Brucellosis is a dangerous disease most often acquired from drinking unpasteurized or "raw" milk. The bacteria that causes it is carried by the cow and is passed through the milk. It can also contaminate other dairy products such as cheese and ice cream that has been made raw milk.

 

Pasteurization is a process by which the harmful bacteria can be removed from a food without destroying the food itself.

 

Here is a web site from the US Center for Disease Control -

http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/brucellosis_g.htm

 

Among other things it says that tourists are most likely to acquire the disease from eating local cheeses made from raw milk. (P

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I agree, and Listera is also amongst those in raw milk and I dare say 1 or 2 other little nasties :(

 

there should be a reasonably comprehensive list of them in my "Cheese Making "thread (the cheese turned out great btw :)

 

fact is, alot of what we do is contra intuitive, and by that fact alone, I don`t think it`s motivated by evolutionary drives.

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I was thinking about evolution, and I was wondering what kind of effects the evolution of humans could have on what we do and like. Like how most people seem to prefer cold water over warm water, could that be becuase cold water tended to be running water, which had less harmful microorganisms than what tended to be in warm or stagnit water? What other things like that could there be like that?

 

this is a good point. its hard to decide, however, if this adaptations like these are pure prodcuts of natural selection or of cultural adaptation. I would say that since human brains form adaptive behaviors quicker than natural selection coul adapt their bodies or instincts, it is usually cultural.

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I'm not sure how accurate it is, but I read that ancient Egyptians were so used to drinking warm water from the Nile that when they traveled to a new area (sorry I can't remember the specifics) they refused to drink the cold water that was offered to them, apparently they had never experienced that before and were suspicious of it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I find it interesting that as I age, I seem to enjoy bitter things more than when I was younger. Of course, I still have a sweet tooth, but not like my younger self. Seems like we are geared to avoid bitter things in general, but I notice older people broaden their palet.

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One reason why we, as a species, tend to not like bitter things is that bitterness is a common trait of alkaloids which are what most plant based toxins are made of. So the fact that most poisons are bitter in taste would be a good explanation of how we evolved to not find them that appealing.

 

Also, I'd say that as we get older we find them less repulsive because we are able to adapt to the taste and supress the instinctive dislike. That would also explain why young people don't like bitter stuff as much as older people do. As we get older, we learn to appreciate the other effects of these alkaloids and are willing to tolerate the tastes.

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  • 2 weeks later...
One reason why we' date=' as a species, tend to not like bitter things is that bitterness is a common trait of alkaloids which are what most plant based toxins are made of. So the fact that most poisons are bitter in taste would be a good explanation of how we evolved to not find them that appealing.

 

Also, I'd say that as we get older we find them less repulsive because we are able to adapt to the taste and supress the instinctive dislike. That would also explain why young people don't like bitter stuff as much as older people do. As we get older, we learn to appreciate the other effects of these alkaloids and are willing to tolerate the tastes.[/quote']

 

We also lose taste buds. By the time you're 40, you've lost about half of them.

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