Natural selection and OCD

Image from all-creatures.org

Natural selection is really a process of elimination. The next generation comes from those that survive and reproduce. The elimination is caused by the relative fit between the individuals and the environment they live in. After many generations the population has more helpful genetic differences, and fewer harmful ones. – Wikipedia

Eons ago, our ancestor monkeys lived in packs in the trees. Monkeys had a lot of natural enemies to worry about. Most of the big jungle cats — leopards, jaguars, and cougars — would catch and eat monkeys whenever they got a chance.

Over time, some monkeys figured this out. Adaptations are structures or behaviors that allow efficient use of the environment. So it’s not hard to assume that at least a few monkeys in the pack adapted to be on the lookout for jaguars. Some may even have become preoccupied with this responsibility.

The packs of monkeys who had at least one member who adapted to become watchful and vigilant for jaguar attacks? Survived, and propagated.

The packs of monkeys who did not adapt? Jaguar chow.

So it’s not a real stretch to say that OCD was an adaptation that allowed the species to propagate. The monkeys who swung merrily through the trees eating bananas were free to do so because other monkeys were preoccupied with them not becoming Yummy Jaguar Treats.

Hey, you can disagree with me but you can’t disagree with science.

Advertisements

3 Comments on “Natural selection and OCD”

  1. As a longtime OCD sufferer, I find this hypothesis quite amusing even beyond the humorous satire. I can’t really add anything else other than it appears to be a rare confluence of the brilliant and the absurd. Hey there, Kitty! Why are you looking at me like that?

  2. […] “Adaptations are structures or behaviors that allow efficient use of the environment. So it’s not hard to assume that at least a few monkeys in the pack adapted to be on the lookout for jaguars. Some may even have become preoccupied with this responsibility. The packs of monkeys who had at least one member who adapted to become watchful and vigilant for jaguar attacks? Survived, and propagated. The packs of monkeys who did not adapt? Jaguar chow.” – Me, August 2013 […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s