An analysis of 108 Old World countries found that cold/wet climates suitable for dairy farming were associated with lactose tolerance in the year 1500, which was in turn associated with higher child survival rates, greater per capita income, and fewer children per family in the year 1800. This enhanced production power was in turn associated with political freedom and civil liberties in the year 2000.
The researchers believe that lactose tolerance led to longer life expectancy and postponed parenthood, which shifted life strategies toward long-term goals and provided people with more time to undertake activities of their choice.
“Who we are and what we think and do has deeper historical roots and routes than we are ready to admit. However, this does not mean that we are unfree. On the contrary, our ancestors have continuously, intelligently, and ingeniously adapted their habits to their habitats, a process that is still going on today,” Van de Vliert told PsyPost. [Continue reading…]