Do modern humans experience more stress than their ancient ancestors?



  1. 0 Votes

    It depends what you define as stress. I would argue that our ancestors experienced more physical stress (food shortages, sickness, etc.), which is evidenced by things like the obesity epidemic, a backfiring of the mechanism that humans evolved to conserve food during a time of plenty, in preparation for a food shortage. However, in today’s contemporary urban environment, we have to endure more mental stress because we have to worry about things like taxes, mortgages, jobs, laws, etc., all inventions of modern day society. The contrast between our hunter-gatherer ancestors and us becomes more distinct when you look at modern day tribes who are so isolated and removed from innovation that they have retained their hunter-gatherer lifestyle. National Geographic just came out with a great article on an African tribe that lives like this called the Hadza. The are completely dependent on the land they live on, as they grow no food and raise no animals. Yet, they care little for things that we, in modern day society, worry about constantly, such as time.

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