Debate Magazine

Oh I Do Like to Be Beside the Seaside.

Posted on the 17 March 2020 by Markwadsworth @Mark_Wadsworth

From Cleantechnica:
Americans are obsessed with living by the ocean, just as are people in most other countries around the world. Followers of Darwin believe humans are descended from sea creatures. Our blood is almost exactly the same pH and salinity as ocean water.
Even those who don't live by the ocean take vacations at the beach. We seem to have an atavistic imperative to return to the sea baked into our DNA.

Yes, in Western and European cultures, populations are denser near the coast; there is a premium on homes with a sea view; we like going to the beach.
I read somewhere that early humans preferred the sea side because they found it easier to catch fish than hunt animals. That seems very plausible.
Then we developed shipping, so that is where the ports were, so that is where people were. Why do I live in London? Ultimately, it's because the Romans decided it would be a good place for a port and it snowballed from there, even though the port is now barely relevant (if it even still exists).
The above explanation - marred as it is by the strange phrase "followers of Darwin"(are modern scientists to be described as "followers of Newton"?) - is superficially appealing.
But if this were true, then it would be true for "most" mammals, and I'm not aware that "most" other mammal species prefer the coast to inland. For sure, seals and polar bears do, and dolphins and whales spent so much time on the coast that they evolved back into aquatic animals.
But on the whole, most mammals seem to prefer dry land. Vegetarian mammals simply aren't interested in fish. So therefore, the explanation seems like complete bollocks. As is the rest of the article.


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