Yet more evidence for social influence on human health: A New York Times article, "What Are Friends For? A Longer Life," reporter Tara Parker-Pope reviews a series of studies showing a powerful relationship between friendships and life expectancy. For some, this is a surprising result, but to anyone fluent in human history, these findings should be expected. After all, we evolved in natural environments that were hostile in many respects. Bad weather, starvation, dehydration and predator attacks were always a possibility. This challenge shaped our social consciousness. Isolation and rejection were to be feared; acceptance and inclusion were life-giving. It is no wonder that we are hyper-sensitive to the presence of one another; for the vast majority of human history, other people literally kept us alive.

Comment