Evolution and humans; is it stopped? (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Tuesday, November 15, 2016, 20:47 (391 days ago) @ David Turell

We are still the same species, but we are modifying:

http://phys.org/news/2016-11-humans-evolving-ways.html

"It's often said that through our innovations in science, agriculture and medicine humans have become masters of our biological destiny.

"That we've seized control of our evolution, eliminating most of the causes of death and suffering experienced by our ancient and not too distant ancestors.
We've wiped out hunger and famine and eliminated food shortages in most parts of the world.

"Today, we have access to a wide variety of high quality foods. Items once only available to us seasonally can now be eaten all year round.

***

The upshot is that in some groups the reproductive span seems to be getting longer for both women and men.

"Yet other research has shown that women are under selection for increased height in at least one pre-industrial population and for decreased height in three post-industrial groups.

"The trend to early maturing at smaller body sizes may be the consequence of the widespread decrease in juvenile mortality resulting from improvements to hygiene, public health and medical care.

***

"Field's team investigated the signals of selection spanning the last 2,000 years and found evidence for evolution in three important sets of genes.

"First, there has been strong selection for lactase genes, or those associated with a person's ability to digest milk and other dairy foods.

"So, dairy tolerance has been on the rise over the last couple of thousand years in Britain, perhaps along with increasing levels of milk consumption.

"The second set was with the so-called HLA genes, which play a role in the human immune system.

***

"But most surprising of all was the finding that the genes for blonde hair and blue eyes have been under selection over the last two millenia.

"In this case, it seems that sexual selection rather than natural selection has been driving an increase in the number of people carrying the genes for this combination.
In the UK at least, it seems that gentlemen really do prefer blondes, well at least for the last 2,000 years anyway.

"Far from being esoteric, this kind of research shows how the decisions we make about how we live, what we eat and even who we marry can have long lasting impacts on our evolution."

Comment: Obviously we are H. sapiens with some modifications, none of which suggests a new species of human is around the corner.


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