Monday, 20 February 2012

Is there a "Fire" deficiency?

Fire is dangerous, my parents always told me, "Don't start fires, theyre dangerous".

Ever since I can remember, I have been naturally attracted to fire, not only dose it have an amazing calming affect on me, but I can just stare at it for ages. Growing up, I was conditioned to believe this was because I was a "bad person", or a bad boy as my parents would put it.


I would like to point out, unlike moral judgements of right and wrong, there is no choice involved in how I feel about fire. It just is.

So if it has nothing to do with being a "naturally bad/evil" person, whats going on?

Well, as it turns out, im not alone. The phenomenon of pyromania is well documented, and it was interesting to see the wikipedia article on pyromania state that people do it to induce feelings of euphoria. Hmmmm, that sounds disturbingly familiar.

Remember this study with the sodium deficient rodents?, What did we learn from this study? Incase you forgot, it basically tells us that your brain can and will decide for you what you like depending on how deficient you are in it,

Morality be damned.

Why the hell do you think your ability to taste sweetness is so acute after you've been low-carb for an extended period? Its a basic survival mechanism evolved to help you find where the glycogen buffers are in edible ( or potentially edible ) matter after you've been glycogen depleted all this time.....

We know cooked food has been an integral part on our development to becoming human, and this ties in with our ability to control fire. The ability to control and harness fire offers multiple survival perks, its a source of heat in the cold, its a source of light, it creates an environment to socialise in, its a useful weapon, and now it also helps us by making food easier to digest.

Simply put, if fire has helped us survive in the environment where we would otherwise of not without it, chances are, evolution has picked up on this and our brains will make us like it.

Modern civilisation is very "anti-fire", and this has been the perfect storm to create a situation in where we are not exposed to something that helps our survival,

i.e. we are deficient in it.

1 comment:

  1. I never thought of it but it does stand to reason that we would be wired to respond to fire positively; the ability to make and harness fire was probably quite essential to success of human groups. This would be similar to how we are born equipped pre-wired to be afraid of snake-like, and carnivore-like creatures.

    I think there are many, many behaviors deemed psychopathology which have evolutionarily logical roots. I suspect those studying mental health or criminal behavior avoid these interpretations as moralizing those who break laws as being EVIL! seems fundamental to preserving social structure/function. Can't have us being emotionally neutral and seeing things more complex than "axis of evil" or "evil doers" and so fourth.