It is from this article. Here it goes:

While our brave new world has lots of amazing new opportunities and affordances for all of us, we need to always keep in mind that the modern world is deeply mismatched from ancestral human conditions in many important ways. (For more, see, Positive Evolutionary Psychology, by Geher & Wedberg.) And evolutionary mismatch often leads to problems.

Does it mean because?

  • No, it means "due to".
    – Lambie
    Dec 3, 2019 at 6:26
  • Uh, because ~= due to. Dec 3, 2019 at 7:34
  • @Lambie The phrase "deeply mismatched from ancestral human conditions seems to mean "significantly different from ancestral human conditions". I don't see how this could be read as "because" or "due to" Apr 1, 2022 at 17:17

2 Answers 2


The simple way to understand this is to take a cynical view of the writing process.

The writer mechanistically removed synonyms from the work after completing it. Or got negative feedback about the wording.

So you can guess that what they originally wrote was something like

The modern world is different from ancestral conditions. It’s deeply mismatched in many ways.

It can’t mean because actually. The right hand side or second half is not an independent clause.

The ending—in many important ways—-is just a modifier. This is also true of ancestral human.

Then we can drop the modifiers and it should still make sense.

Dropping them and substituting because, we get

... we need to always keep in mind that the modern world is deeply mismatched because conditions.

The illogical result shows the initially assumed meaning, because, is not valid.

Ultimately in the context of the article that sentence means we have to remember that today is different from the past.


I read it as mismatched from ancestral conditions = not matched to ancestral conditions.

It is not an adjunct phrase giving purpose or comparison: it is a complement of mismatched saying what something fails to be matched to.

While from is not the most obvious preposition to use to express the complement of mismatched, this is not unique. The NOW corpus has 123 instances of mismatched to and 33 instances of mismatched from. (Some of the latter are a different construction, eg mismatched from the beginning, but many of them are just like the given example.)

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