Alcohol and Evolution
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19-12-2012, 10:37 PM (This post was last modified: 19-12-2012 10:44 PM by Misanthropik.)
Alcohol and Evolution
Alright, so once again, I've had a few brewskies, so bear with me if I'm incoherent.

As so often is the case when I drink, my mind was wandering about tonight and I started thinking about Hitchens. More specifically, Hitchens' love of the drink and his subsequent throat cancer. I'm not a doctor, and I don't pretend to know the dynamics of cancer and the multiple variables involved, but it's clear that alcohol can and does cause cancer in certain individuals at certain times. And yet, human beings have been consuming alcohol for a few thousand years (at least). I don't personally know when it was first discovered (if anyone could include that info., it'd be appreciated), but I do recall that the Egyptians used an early version of beer as a means of quick nutrition ("liquid bread", it's been called) around the time of the pyramids. So I know that we've been consuming alcohol for centuries. And where there's a little alcohol, there's a lot of alcohol (I've only met a handful of people who don't love its effects in mass quantities). But, even so, today we have people who get liver and throat cancer because of their alcohol intake.

So, I started wondering, why haven't we at least evolved a resistance to its adverse effects by now? Has there not been enough time to do so? Have we evolved a resistance to some extent that I'm not aware of? Is there some variable that I'm missing that prevents us - as a whole - from evolving such a resistance? Am I just drunk and thinking stupid?

And did the government REALLY kill Kennedy?!

Anyway, it's clear that Mankind likes its alcohol, and they've liked it for a long time. So why does it still poison us?

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20-12-2012, 07:36 AM
RE: Alcohol and Evolution
We have not evolved a resistance to alcohol because increased susceptibility increases our fitness, by which I mean it increases our chances of procreation. Am I right?

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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20-12-2012, 08:04 AM
RE: Alcohol and Evolution
Your liver turn alcohols to Esters. You need that to happen, not just for the injested form of ETOH.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ester

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20-12-2012, 06:43 PM (This post was last modified: 20-12-2012 06:49 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Alcohol and Evolution
(19-12-2012 10:37 PM)Misanthropik Wrote:  Have we evolved a resistance to some extent that I'm not aware of?

Dunno why you ain't aware of it? Probably 'cause you're drunk. Tongue

How'd it happen in the first place that we have any tolerance to it at all is a better question. ... I present to you the little fucker responsible.

"Humans may even preserve a relic of the shrews' love of alcohol that has lasted through millions of years of evolution. In their PNAS paper, the scientists wrote that the pen-tailed tree-shrew is 'a living model for extinct mammals, representing the stock from all extinct and living tree-shrews and primates radiated'. They added: 'Therefore, we hypothesise that moderate to high alcohol intake was present early on in the evolution of these closely related lineages.' "

God damn you pen-tailed treeshrew! God damn you all to Hell! Big Grin

I am us and we is me. ... bitches.
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20-12-2012, 07:01 PM
RE: Alcohol and Evolution
I'm taking a break tonight, but tomorrow I'll be having a double in honor of my new best friend; the shrew. Big Grin

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20-12-2012, 07:36 PM
RE: Alcohol and Evolution
(19-12-2012 10:37 PM)Misanthropik Wrote:  Alright, so once again, I've had a few brewskies, so bear with me if I'm incoherent.

As so often is the case when I drink, my mind was wandering about tonight and I started thinking about Hitchens. More specifically, Hitchens' love of the drink and his subsequent throat cancer. I'm not a doctor, and I don't pretend to know the dynamics of cancer and the multiple variables involved, but it's clear that alcohol can and does cause cancer in certain individuals at certain times. And yet, human beings have been consuming alcohol for a few thousand years (at least). I don't personally know when it was first discovered (if anyone could include that info., it'd be appreciated), but I do recall that the Egyptians used an early version of beer as a means of quick nutrition ("liquid bread", it's been called) around the time of the pyramids. So I know that we've been consuming alcohol for centuries. And where there's a little alcohol, there's a lot of alcohol (I've only met a handful of people who don't love its effects in mass quantities). But, even so, today we have people who get liver and throat cancer because of their alcohol intake.

So, I started wondering, why haven't we at least evolved a resistance to its adverse effects by now? Has there not been enough time to do so? Have we evolved a resistance to some extent that I'm not aware of? Is there some variable that I'm missing that prevents us - as a whole - from evolving such a resistance? Am I just drunk and thinking stupid?

And did the government REALLY kill Kennedy?!

Anyway, it's clear that Mankind likes its alcohol, and they've liked it for a long time. So why does it still poison us?
In other words, it evolved as a way to insure that yest would get the majority of the sugars in a fruit, by living in it's own waste. A waste that is generally deadly to other forms of bacteria. It was merely happenstance that the molecule, when ingested, would have the effects it does.

These effects predominately effect the brain, alcohol
passes directly from the digestive tract into the blood vessels. In minutes, the
blood transports the alcohol to all parts of the body, including the brain.

As you can imagine the many neurons that make up the brain are effected in many ways, namely the ability of alcohol to bind to gaba receptors, and encourages dopamine output. In effect to binding to other neurons effectively making you feel good, impairing memory, movement, judgement etc.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethonal#Drug_effects
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC165791/

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20-12-2012, 07:40 PM (This post was last modified: 20-12-2012 07:45 PM by fstratzero.)
RE: Alcohol and Evolution
However, the first metabolic product of ethanol in the liver, acetaldehyde, is toxic, mutagenic, and carcinogenic.

Acetaldehyde is a probable or possible carcinogen in humans. In 1988 the International Agency for Research on Cancer stated, "There is sufficient evidence for the carcinogenicity of acetaldehyde (the major metabolite of ethanol) in experimental animals." In October 2009 the International Agency for Research on Cancer updated the classification of acetaldehyde stating that acetaldehyde included in and generated endogenously from alcoholic beverages is a Group I human carcinogen. In addition, acetaldehyde is damaging to DNA and causes abnormal muscle development as it binds to proteins

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The atheist is a man who destroys the imaginary things which afflict the human race, and so leads men back to nature, to experience and to reason.
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