Natural selection and OCDPosted: August 14, 2013
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.