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Drunken Monkeys: Does Alcoholism Have an Evolutionary Basis?
Live Science ^ | 4/11/2014 | Wynne Parry

Posted on 04/17/2014 12:05:01 PM PDT by BuckeyeTexan

As the child of an alcoholic father, Robert Dudley long wondered what caused the destructive allure of alcohol. Then while working in the Panamanian forest as a biologist, Dudley saw monkeys eating ripe fruit, which likely contained small amounts of the stuff, and an answer occurred to him: Maybe alcoholism is an evolutionary hangover.

Had fruit-eating animals, including human ancestors, gained an evolutionary advantage by learning to associate the smell and taste of alcohol with ripe fruit? Dudley wondered. He named this concept the drunken monkey hypothesis. "I thought it was too simple an idea not to have been thought of previously," he told Live Science. But he found no record of it.

Now, about 15 years after conceiving the idea, Dudley, who studies the physiology and biomechanics of flight at the University of California, Berkeley, has published a book, "The Drunken Monkey: Why We Drink and Abuse Alcohol" (University of California Press, 2014) that delves into the evolution of humans' and other animals' attraction to fruit, and as a result, alcohol.

Introducing the drunken monkey

The concept goes like this: Microscopic fungi, called yeast, turn the naturally occurring sugar in fruit into a chemical known as ethanol, which most people know better as alcohol. Fruit-eating animals — everything from primates and other mammals to insects and reptiles —began to use the scent of ethanol as a cue to find ripe fruit. Ethanol offers other benefits as well: it helps preserve the fruit from bacterial spoilage and stimulates the appetite of whatever consumes it (think of an aperitif).

Scientists know little about the natural occurrence of ethanol and its role in diet for many species, Dudley writes.

"It's not just Napa vineyards and drunks on the street. There is actually a much broader natural background

(Excerpt) Read more at livescience.com ...


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 04/17/2014 12:05:01 PM PDT by BuckeyeTexan
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To: BuckeyeTexan
Maybe alcoholism is an evolutionary hangover.

Or maybe the reverse.

2 posted on 04/17/2014 12:18:18 PM PDT by Alex Murphy ("the defacto Leader of the FR Calvinist Protestant Brigades")
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To: BuckeyeTexan
"I don't often drink my alcohol from fruit, but when I do, I prefer Dos Casabas."


3 posted on 04/17/2014 12:20:52 PM PDT by moovova
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To: BuckeyeTexan

Alcoholics and druggies Darwin’s Dolts.


4 posted on 04/17/2014 12:22:05 PM PDT by AEMILIUS PAULUS (It is a shame that when these people give a riot)
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To: BuckeyeTexan

Everything has an evolutionary basis. It’s ipso facto.

These sort of sociobiological analyses are fun and interesting.

They, though, are pretty much unprovable.

They are very much a modern day variation on the Just-So story.


5 posted on 04/17/2014 12:25:14 PM PDT by ifinnegan
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To: ifinnegan

I agree with you 100%.


6 posted on 04/17/2014 12:29:12 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Entropy is high. Wear a hat! And carry an umbrella.)
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To: Tax-chick

me too....


7 posted on 04/17/2014 12:33:31 PM PDT by raygunfan
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To: raygunfan; ifinnegan

I think it’s fun to think about the possible survival advantages of different traits, and how they might play out over varying conditions through the millennia.

However, it’s not really “science” in any meaningful sense.


8 posted on 04/17/2014 12:35:32 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Entropy is high. Wear a hat! And carry an umbrella.)
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To: BuckeyeTexan

9 posted on 04/17/2014 12:43:13 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty - Honor - Country! What else needs said?)
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To: BuckeyeTexan

well if I actually thought I came from a monkey it would have to be of the drunken variety

obsession of the mind allergy of the body


10 posted on 04/17/2014 12:48:35 PM PDT by Nifster
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To: AEMILIUS PAULUS

Not sure how to take this.


11 posted on 04/17/2014 12:58:00 PM PDT by cornfedcowboy
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To: ifinnegan

Certainly.


12 posted on 04/17/2014 1:04:59 PM PDT by BuckeyeTexan (There are those that break and bend. I'm the other kind. ~Steve Earle)
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To: BuckeyeTexan

I think he may be onto something there.

13 posted on 04/17/2014 1:08:17 PM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Stalin Blamed The Kulaks,Obama Blames The Tea Party)
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To: moovova

Dos Casabas?...............Two Melons?...............


14 posted on 04/17/2014 1:09:37 PM PDT by Red Badger (Soon there will be another American Civil War. Will make the first one seem like a Tea Party........)
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To: BuckeyeTexan

15 posted on 04/17/2014 1:10:53 PM PDT by Red Badger (Soon there will be another American Civil War. Will make the first one seem like a Tea Party........)
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To: Red Badger

Dos Casabas?...............Two Melons?...............

*********************************************************************

Twin melons is considered by many to be the best source of liquid refreshment.


16 posted on 04/17/2014 1:34:57 PM PDT by House Atreides
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To: Alex Murphy

Given the cause-and-effect relationship between alcohol and procreative behavior, ...

I have a hard time believing sauce sends you the way of the dodo bird.


17 posted on 04/17/2014 1:40:13 PM PDT by sayfer bullets (“I didn’t leave the [---] party, the [---] party left me.” - Ronald Reagan)
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To: House Atreides

OOOOOHHHH!...He meant ‘Dos Gajungas’!...................


18 posted on 04/17/2014 2:00:28 PM PDT by Red Badger (Soon there will be another American Civil War. Will make the first one seem like a Tea Party........)
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To: sayfer bullets

Our laboratory housed a group of monkeys who all got set free by accident, and they ran outside to climb up the nearest tree. our animal caretaker got a bottle of bourbon and soaked a whole loaf of bread in the booze. We distributed slices of bread all around the base of the tree and they consumed by the monkeys. In a few minutes we could easily pick up the drunken monkeys and return them to their cages.


19 posted on 04/17/2014 2:09:38 PM PDT by Rudder
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Of course its evolutionary, when I am drinking I become much more attractive


20 posted on 04/17/2014 2:10:17 PM PDT by dsrtsage (One half of all people have below average IQ. In the US the number is 54%)
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To: Red Badger

“Two Melons?”

;->


21 posted on 04/17/2014 2:11:35 PM PDT by moovova
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To: ifinnegan

I see drunken jay and other birds on my pyracantha bushes every fall when the berries begin rotting on the bush. It’s a funny sight but raises the ever so serious question, “Are birds natural born alcoholics?”


22 posted on 04/17/2014 3:20:09 PM PDT by JimSEA
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To: BuckeyeTexan

Drunken Monkey Demonstration (Hsiao Hou)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L13JhkI1_vY


23 posted on 04/17/2014 3:28:31 PM PDT by TurboZamboni (Marx smelled bad and lived with his parents .)
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To: JimSEA

That’s always a wild time of year

They used to fly in to our windows on drunk on the pyrocanthas berries.

Studies have shown that wild animals will intoxicate themselves.

It seems just for the enjoyment of it.

It is hard to know what reproductive advantage is conferred by getting drunk on pyracantha berries.


24 posted on 04/17/2014 4:03:57 PM PDT by ifinnegan
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To: dsrtsage

Of course its evolutionary, when I am drinking I become much more attractive

*******************************************************************

I no longer drink at all but, when I did, potential “mates” became more and more attractive the more I drank.


25 posted on 04/17/2014 4:07:25 PM PDT by House Atreides
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To: House Atreides

“I no longer drink at all but, when I did, potential “mates” became more and more attractive the more I drank.”

I often wonder how much more attractive the average human would be today if alcohol had not allowed the spread of the ugly gene. Though it is possible the whole human race would have died out eons ago due to a shortage of hot chicks


26 posted on 04/17/2014 4:42:57 PM PDT by dsrtsage (One half of all people have below average IQ. In the US the number is 54%)
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To: ifinnegan; Tax-chick; raygunfan; Darksheare

Speaking of evolution....

http://www.darksky.org/education/312
Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that is released in darkness and inhibited by light. It serves many functions in the
human body, primarily regulating the daily cycles of our systemic activities. Reduction or elimination of light at night can help maintain a robust melatonin release. While any kind of light can interfere with melatonin production, the short wavelength, blue portion of the spectrum is the most potent for melatonin suppression in humans. This type of light (often found in electronic devices) should be avoided during the night.


27 posted on 04/17/2014 5:12:30 PM PDT by fanfan ("If Muslim kids were asked to go to church on Sunday and take Holy Communion there would be war.")
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To: ifinnegan

They do seem to enjoy it however. :-)


28 posted on 04/17/2014 6:12:03 PM PDT by JimSEA
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To: dsrtsage
... it is possible the whole human race would have died out eons ago due to a shortage of hot chicks waterborne diseases.
29 posted on 04/18/2014 2:23:22 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Entropy is high. Wear a hat! And carry an umbrella.)
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