Abandon All Fear

What nobody else seems to be saying…

Survival of the Fattest

Posted by Lex Fear on August 1, 2007

The Independent reports new research that abusing overweight people may actually be an evolutionary survival response.

“Researchers say the immune system can be triggered into action at the sight of obesity because it doesn’t like the look of what it sees, and associates it with infection.

Just as it orchestrates attacks on viruses and bacteria and triggers nausea at the hint of bad food, so it sends out signals of disgust in some people at the sight of an obese body that is designed to encourage avoidance and survival.” The Independent: Why Slim People Dislike The Overweight

Wow, so bullying is actually a survival tactic? Odd survival tactic if the target is actually bigger than they are. Wouldn’t the evolutionary response be to avoid an animal that is bigger than you are? How does that survival tactic fare when the bully picks on someone who can quite literally flatten them? I remember some fat kids at my school growing up who you wouldn’t want to mess with.

Of course, if bullying survival is so important, why do we put so much effort into trying to prevent it. Why do we prosecute young people for simply doing what comes naturally? Same goes for underage reproductive sex, I don’t understand at all why the education establishment would want to prevent evolution?!

Of course it could all be entirely cultural or flawed science, but then, that wouldn’t fit with what they want to believe.

Body Image Timeline
In Praise of Big Women
One Woman, Many Cultures
The Fat Organ
Body Image and the Media

Uh Oh! My memes are warring.. Zing, zing, ouch! Which meme do I believe?

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5 Responses to “Survival of the Fattest”

  1. Cecilieaux said

    Excellent and funny!

    I am sending your link to a blogger friend (Thailand Gal on blogger) who wrote precisely about this just a few days ago.

    I was drawn to your blog while trying to find out what the full story of the Rachel-Felicity spat, which I stumbled upon about a month or so ago, when one Brit blogger urged everyone to have their eyes peeled for F. (BTW, any news as to what’s become of Felicity? I live in the USA and haven’t found any mention of her googling around; I hope she’s in caring hands. The other one still posts and is well, frankly, bo-ring.)

    Again, it’s good to discover a good blog.

  2. Cecileaux, thanks!

    I tried my best to take a balanced view but eventually the viciousness of one side caused me to lean to the other side in defense of.

    As far as we know Felicity skipped her trial at the Magistrates Court, was eventually netted by the police and sentenced to 6 months for harassment (not cyber-stalking as some have claimed). If I understand correctly from Rachel (who commented here), there was harassment offline, which is what the judge used to determine the sentence, not simply blogging and emailing.

    I know Rachel’s opinion of my blog, I have no idea what Felicity would make of it, but I suppose she would deny any mental illness (as some mentally ill are want to do).

    What concerns me now is really the behaviour of many of Rachel’s supporters (who I nickname the Northsquad)- for I see the same language and intent from them as displayed by Felicity. In fact some have visited here to level much of the abuse at me for daring to criticise North (a perpetual victim).

    I would warn anyone therefore If they are going to comment on the situation, they should make sure their review comes out in favour of Rachel North, to make sure that you don’t suffer the similar trolling.

    You also have a good blog by the way, I’ll rss you and look forward to reading.

  3. Stef said

    You are (I understand) not a big fan of current evolutionary theory so presumably you know how the game is played…

    The strength of a good Darwinistic story is not based on whether or not it can be proven empirically but on how plausible it sounds. The game is more about advocacy than science

    The first example that comes into my head is monogamy in humans…

    Evolutionist #1 will claim that monogamistic behaviour evolved to ensure that children will grow up with both a carer and provider, maximising their chances of reaching reproductive age

    Evolutionist #2 will claim that men have evolved to seek as many reproductively capable partners as possible to maximise the number of offspring they have

    Bingo, evolution can ‘explain’ two completely contradictory patterns of behaviour in equally plausible sounding ways

    As a general rule, if a ‘scientific’ explanation cannot be tested with hard data it’s pants. Most of the guff that’s passed off as Darwinism these days qualfies

  4. Exactly Stef,

    As mentioned before I only really have a problem with specific parts of the Evolutionary theory: transmutation being one, but of course there is a lot of junk science surrounding genes.

    If our genes influenced our behaviour, almost none of us would be fat (that is, if the science here were correct). On the other hand, if genes do not influence our behaviour, then much of the science surrounding genetic traits is bunk.

    I once watched a grandfather on live television be told by a ‘geneticist’ that the reason he put himself in danger to save some children (not his own) was because of a defective gene in his makeup. This left the reporter awkwardly lost for words and probably insulted the grandfather.

    It leads me to think that if this type of pseudoscience was real, we’d be living in a very different world today with very different values and ideas. Perhaps I’ll do a post entitle “Imagine: No Religion” to discuss what kind of a world we’d be living in if our actions were indeed a product of our genes.

  5. Stef said

    Unlike many people I know I’m not a big fan of ‘Imagine’

    Sure I could imagine a world without countries and religions but then people would just be manipulated by the unscrupulous few to fight over something else. Actually, it would probably be easier

    Total misdirection with regards to what ails the world and who is responsible from Mr Lennon…

    and people lap it up

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