Shouldn't Virii Make You Feel better?

Photo by Mr. D Logan via Flickr

Now, I am no evolutionary biologist, but... following a strictly evolutionary model, I would not expect that when one gets sick one would necessarily feel worse. Why for example don't I ever catch a cold and get really hopeful and energized? Why don't I catch a cold and just have to go out running for 12 miles? The effects of sicknesses are always negative - depression, exhaustion,etc. Does this mean that we tend to survive better when we feel worse? Why would a virus have a better chance of reproducing when its host feels worse?

This is just an example of how the same confimation bias that affects anecdotal religious observations affects evolution. I think I can make up a story about why any trait of any animal would be enhanced by evolution. Why does a peacock have enormous feathers? To attract a mate. Why does a penguin, not have enormous feathers? To swim fast and swiftly so that it may catch prey. Sort of opposite conclusions that can be made up to support any evolutionarily biased trait. I think people do this when they look for answers to prayers, and see their future unfold just like a horoscope says etc. We are very good at seeing patterns it data. Trying to figure out whether or not they are "real" is hard.

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