I have been thinking a lot about Ellie’s presentation about our stress reactions and how they affect our bodies and our brains. The way our nervous systems respond to stressful or scary events has developed in such an interesting way. Ellie repeatedly used the word amazing to describe our bodies’ reactions to those types of situations, and I can’t agree with her more. I know it is super, super nerdy to talk about how amazing the biology of our bodies is, but the idea that these processes developed through evolution is pretty cool. In our evolutionary history, those with strong stress responses who were able to use their adrenaline to muster a strong “fight or flight” response were the ones able to escape from danger, or defeat it, and survive. But given the changes that have occurred in the world with the development of civilization, will evolution now work in a diametrically opposed way to favor those who have more muted stress responses? Today in America and in western civilization in general, in many cases the situations that are considered stressful are very different from those that were considered stressful in the past. Currently, taking important exams, giving presentations in school or at work, participating in a big sports game or dance performance, having an important or difficult conversation with a friend or family member are all examples of what would today be considered stressful situations. But acting in a “fight or flight” way, being combative or exhibiting avoidance behavior, would actually be unhelpful in such situations. Responding “overanxiously” to these types of situations that we face frequently today would make us less likely to be healthy and succeed in the world, and from an evolutionary standpoint, less likely to be able to reproduce successfully and share our genes with the next generation. So I wonder and, in a sense, hypothesize that evolution in the future will lead to a population of people who respond with diminished stress reactions. This can only hold true, of course, if we as humans are still affected by evolution. Medical expertise and technology that can reduce the type of strong nervous system reaction I described above may alter evolution.