Is Survival A Natural Human Instinct?

9 Apr

The world is not a safe place. There are numerous natural and man-made disasters which affect individuals and groups of people daily. While human beings often die in these catastrophes, you will still hear amazing tales of unlikely survival. In simple terms, regular human beings are able to stay alive in the most extraordinary and unusual circumstances.

This phenomenon has happened countless times and continues to puzzle people. Is it the natural instinct of humans to keep living? Is determination the driving force for disaster survival? Why and what for do people fight so hard to survive? Why do some people survive under unlikely circumstances while others die in less dire situations?

The famous evolution expert, Charles Darwin, presented concrete evidence-based theories on the survival of creatures. This scientist proved in the 1800 that natural selection and survival are intertwined. Natural selection is a simple theory which emphasizes on one unshakable concept: only the strong survive.

Simply speaking, every form of life is exposed to constant danger because none is supreme in the food chain or over natural disasters. When a disaster strikes, the weakest in the population will die. The strong will continue living and passing on their genes to the next generation. As a result, the particular species is able to keep thriving and overcoming challenges. This simple concept of natural selection can help us understand if human beings really have a natural predisposition to keep surviving against all odds. In this short discussion, we will examine the human survival instincts which have managed to keep the species going for millenniums.

The most obvious hard-wired instinct for survival is manifested in form of the fight-or-flight response. This physiological reaction occurs if a person senses the threat to their survival or any harmful attack or event. As implied, this is a biological response which helps a person in adverse situations either fight or flee from the danger.

The reaction begins in the brain’s amygdala which in turn triggers the hypothalamus gland. This process is also followed by the secretion of the ACT hormone. This hormone triggers the adrenal glands to produce epinephrine or adrenaline and cortisol. When these biochemical secretions are released, they help the body prepare for violent muscle action.

In simple terms, the hormones will cause an acceleration of physiological functions which will be useful when fighting or fleeing. For example, heart and lung action will accelerate in order to supply the body with oxygen for muscle action. Metabolic resources such as stored glucose and fats will be liberated to provide sufficient energy. Awareness of the surroundings and vision also improves.

In general, the body will also limit the resources to parts of the body that are not required for immediate survival. For instance, digestion in the upper stomach and intestines will slow down or stop. There will be inhibition of tear and saliva production as well as the bladder might relax and other sphincter muscles will be affected.

When a person is in danger, the fight-or-flight response will kick in. Some people will have unusual strength to fight the source of peril while others will have the supernatural ability to flee from the scene. Often, this is known as hysterical strength because it goes beyond the normal bounds due to the specific situation. The fight and flight response is particularly valuable when fighting for family. For example, mothers will be able to lift a car when their children are in danger. A father will run into a flaming building despite the danger to save his family.

The concept of opposites attracting is more than a fancy theory. In a certain experiment, it was proven that people choose partners who will ensure the survival of their genes. Human beings are built differently at a genetic level, including their level of immunity. People with lower immunity are more prone to sickness and death in case of adverse situations.

If an individual chooses a partner with the same genetic code for immunity, their child is likely to be vulnerable to multiple diseases. In ideal circumstances, one will choose a partner with opposite or at least different immune strengths than them. This will allow their child to have a better chance of surviving when exposed to dangerous situations.

So, how do humans recognize the right partner? According to the BBC show Human Instinct, it is all in the nose. In their experiment, a man was exposed to the natural scent of six women, sight unseen. The smells that he found to be most appealing belonged to women who did not share the genes linked to the immune system. This phenomenon is designed to create the best family unit.

There are other intrinsic survival instincts which help individuals and the entire human race continue surviving. For example, human babies are born without any form of defense against threats to their existence. However, they are able to convey their needs by crying in different volumes and pitches to convey their desires. Also, babies have almost universal appeal to people because of their general cuteness and adorable. This phenomenon helps elicit a care-giving response in people ensuring their continued survival. It is theorized that cuter babies have an advantage in survival.

People are also hardwired to avoid poisonous foods which could threaten survival. As an adult, one has the ability to understand poison in a logical way, mostly. However, babies can only rely on instinct to determine what is safe. That is why babies will reject bitter food and choose sweet energy-giving foods.

Human instincts are designed to promote survival, but ultimately, our connections to family, children and other relations provide the strength to fight unbeatable odds.

Plan, prepare, protect, get through, hold on, hold out, make it, and keep body, soul and family together. You need a plan to prepare and to protect yourself and your family. Survival is our Strategy!”



Source by Michael Vinyard

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