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Did you know? An “evolutionary” excuse for getting hammered!

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Biologist Robert Dudley formulated the drunken monkey hypothesis in 2000:

According to the hypothesis, our pre-human ancestors regularly ingested small amounts of alcohol because the substance is produced when ripe fruit or nectar is decomposed by wild yeast. Through natural fermentation, yeast feeds on plant sugars and produces waste products of CO2 and ethanol — the chemical name for alcohol.

Although this spoils fruit, it presents an opportunity for animals that can digest alcohol. Creatures able to eat fermenting sugars would have an additional source of nutrients. Not only would they consume semi-rotten fruits, passed over by other animals, but alcohol itself has nutritional value: There are nearly twice as many calories in ethanol compared to carbohydrates of the same weight. (While this causes unwanted beer bellies today, extra calories are beneficial in the wild.)

Bridget Alex, “‘Drunken Monkey’ Hypothesis: Was Booze an Advantage For Our Ancestors?” at Discover Magazine

He sees alcoholism and addiction as an “evolutionary hangover.” This message was not approved by Alcoholics Anonymous. But he got a book out of it: The Drunken Monkey: Why We Drink and Abuse Alcohol (2014)”

Just think what people will believe if we call it “evolution.” Will such a belief help or hurt recovery?

All that said, the basic idea isn’t new. See , for example: The case for fat, starch, etc., as the substances that made us human:

Eating fat, not meat, led to bigger human-type brains

Earlier discussion of the fat theory.

Starchy food may have aided human brain development

Do big brains matter to human intelligence?

Human evolution: The war of trivial explanations

and

What great physicists have said about immateriality and consciousness

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3 Replies to “Did you know? An “evolutionary” excuse for getting hammered!

  1. 1
    AaronS1978 says:

    All right I’m going to brace myself I haven’t read this yet but I can’t wait to hear about the evolutionary advantage of getting drunk it might be because it’ll relax you or it allows you to cope with how bad life is like laughter. let us go and read and explore. Maybe it’s to cope with psychological disorders let’s find out

  2. 2
    AaronS1978 says:

    All right well I will admit this is not nearly as bad as what I thought it would be. Even though there are a lot of animals that eat rotten fruit for exactly that a fact to just be drunk and then there are animals that prey on those drunken animals out in the wild of all the different explanations I’ve heard for a lot of things this one wasn’t too bad even though there’s a huge downside to being drunk, Not super sure that has a survival advantage but whatever

  3. 3
    vmahuna says:

    There is a difference between early humans randomly discovering teeny bits of alcohol in fruit, and beer becoming the CAUSE of Civilization (humans who live in permanent “cities” with populations greater than 10,000). Ya HAD to sit around in a village for a couple MONTHS to let the beer ferment, after you had discovered beer by accident in a leaky grain storehouse.
    Early man gladly admitted that The Gods had created beer and wine and then TAUGHT the secrets to a couple guys named Coors and Bud Weiser. There’s apparently a closer connection of human coffee use and random animal grazing. The tale goes that goat herders noticed that if some of the goats ate the berries from a particular bush, the goats stayed up all night watching reruns on basic cable. So the goat herders ate some of the berries, too. And after the GOAT HERDERS stayed up all night, they invented the mocha latte espresso and opened the first Starbucks.

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