“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
Listeners to these Creation Moments programs may recall that I have previously confessed to a liking for a hot beverage, made by brewing the roasted cherry pits from the plant coffea arabica. But, apparently, evolution means that I shouldn’t like it. This must be one more reason to praise the Lord that I am a creationist.
A recent study from Northwestern University – presumably the department of insufficient work – have been researching the relationship between the bitterness of coffee and how much people like it. Apparently, evolution has produced bitter tastes as a warning to us about substances which do us harm. So when we taste a bitter chemical – such as, for example, caffeine – all of the evolution within our brains is screaming at us to spit it out.
“You’d expect that people who are particularly sensitive to the bitter taste of caffeine would drink less coffee,” says one of the senior researchers. Amazingly, however, their research has found that the extra bitterness has the opposite effect. It seems to make some people drink more coffee. And even worse news for English people, increased coffee consumption means reduced consumption of tea.
“Our study suggests coffee consumers acquire a taste or an ability to detect caffeine due to the learned positive reinforcement (i.e. stimulation) elicited by caffeine.” So we have evolved to like coffee even though we were supposed to evolve to dislike it. I hope that’s clear. Now it’s time I had a cup of tea.