by Trickey, G., OP Matters No. 14 February 2012
Disposition towards risk; It’s hard to think of anything more likely to have been responsible for the evolutionary success of our ancestors. Surely this has to be top of the list of survival characteristics for our species? Risk, insecurity and uncertainty stalked our ancestors throughout the millennia prior to the Civilising Process (Pinker, 2011). Driven by predation, hostile neighbours and the need for protein, the stakes in planning and decision-making were always high. And, as is the case with other characteristics, genetic diversity will have increased the chances of survival. There were certainly winners and losers in this particular game of chance; a real life or death version of today’s Darwin Awards! So, well done our ancestors, each and every one – and thank you for having us!