Skip to comments.Modern life's pressures may be hastening human evolution (Human Evolution Speeding Up)
Posted on 04/08/2009 6:19:32 PM PDT by GOPGuide
It's even conceivable, he said, that our genes eventually will change enough to create an entirely new human species, one no longer able to breed with our own species, Homo sapiens.
"Someday in the far distant future, enough genetic changes might have occurred so that future populations could not interbreed with the current one,'' Sussman said in an e-mail message.
It's also the topic of a new book, "The 10,000 Year Explosion,'' by anthropologists Henry Harpending and Gregory Cochran of the University of Utah, Salt Lake City.
"For most of the last century, the received wisdom in the social sciences has been that human evolution stopped a long time ago,'' Harpending said. "Clearly, received wisdom is wrong, and human evolution has continued.''
When he was asked how many genes currently are evolving, Harpending replied: "A lot. Several hundred at least, maybe over a thousand.''
Another anthropologist, John Hawks of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said, "Our evolution has recently accelerated by around 100-fold.''
A key reason, Hawks said, is the enormous growth of the world's population, which multiplies the size of the gene pool available to launch new varieties.
"Today, beneficial mutation must be happening far more than ever before, since there are more than 6 billion of us,'' Cochran said.
The changes are so rapid that "we could, in the very near future, compare the genes of old people and young people'' to detect newly evolving genes, Cochran said. Skeletons from a few thousand or even a few hundred years ago also might provide evidence of genetic change.
"Human evolution didn't stop when anatomically modern humans appeared or when they expanded out of Africa,'' Harpending said. "It never stopped.''
(Excerpt) Read more at mcclatchydc.com ...
Actually I think technology would cause evolution to slow. We aren’t being wiped out by diseases the way we would be without medicines.
On the other hand I suppose easier lives could drive evolution in a different direction and not a good one.
“Human Evolution Speeding Up”
Evolution or adaptation?
No, as population and mobility increases, so do the number genetic combinations.
At least microevolution, I don’t want to get into a debate over Macro (Personally, I have suspicions about whether abiogenesis is possible)
Evolution Speeding Up or Intelligent Re-Design?
WE SHOULD TEACH BOTH!
Good point. Also an easier life “should” lead to greater brain development but I’m not so sure that many don’t retard that all by themselves.
And a few other new evolutionary traits that modern society's pressures may be hastening:
* Doughnut: A circle of fat around the navel, which represents the doughnut hole.
* Cankles: Fat that fills in and eliminates the curve between the calf and the ankle.
* Wings: Also called bra fat, it refers to the rounded bulge above and below the bra strap.
* Banana Fold: The ridge of fat high on the leg and just below the derrière.
* Chubb: Fatty kneecaps.
Brain development has not improved with increased nutrition, at least for the past 100 years.
While height has increased in Western nations over the past 100 years, skull volume has not.
So we’re adapting quicker to changes in our environment because changes in our environment at happening quicker; and this the author believes will create “an entirely new human species, one no longer able to breed with our own species, Homo sapiens”?
The ability of McClatchy journalists to reproduce may be imperiled!
Over thousands of years.
Hey, this is not a gay marriage thread!
People are getting more stupid, lazy and ignorant — but is that really due to genetics?
Oh good.... maybe I can sprout some wings and fly the hell out of this crazy place!
OK, here's mine: Does this mean Idiocracy is more or less likely?
I've come across Cochran before, quite a sharp fellow. I suspect his book's thesis is a threat to the regnant, superficial theory of human equality taught by my anthropology prof. I'm surprised Cochran's not more controversial.
Actually I think technology would cause evolution to slow. We arent being wiped out by diseases the way we would be without medicines.
And here everybody thought Trofim Lysenko was dead. Little did we know.