Re: Drugs and Despair

From: Spike Jones (
Date: Sat May 20 2000 - 17:16:02 MDT

Anders Sandberg wrote:

> ...Since sexual responsiveness in depression is usually strongly
> decreased, I don't think it helps reproduction at all. I'm sceptical
> about arguments for an evolutionary "meaning" of depression; it
> doesn't have to be a feature, just a weakness that ordinarily doesn't
> matter much...

You may be right Anders, but I can see a way around this particular
argument. If male sex drive decreases during a long-winter induced
depression, then presumably it would result in fewer October babies.
Perhaps this would compensate for the otherwise higher number of
October babies caused by increased face time by mates in January
and February. Presumably an April or May baby in the far north
would have a higher probability of survival?

The argument then would be ancient populations were much more
limited by food shortages than by lack of sexual activity.

I have only myself to experiment upon, but I find it interesting that
my own appetite decreases noticeably in the darkest months. I
could see where this would create a survival advantage in those
populations that had this feature, if they lived in the far northern
latitudes. Someone here has said evolution does not work at
this level but still I cannot understand why not. spike

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