Thank you for posting this video Reg. I also wonder if we are still evolving.
I think that our body chemistry is changing to adapt to exposure to ones own environment like the worms.
For example snake handlers who work around venomous snakes. Some have been known over a period of time inject themselves with nonlethal doses of venom to increase their tolerance/immunity so if they get bitten will reduce the chance of death.
Hmm.. Interesting question.
I would think we would be evolving still both through natural and sexual selection and I don't see how evolution could stop. The assumption that it does seem to not to take into account the massive amount of time it takes for evolution to be evident as well as the fact of punctuated equilibrium. Right now there is no "need" for humans to evolve substantially as we are not faced with any particular adverse enviroment nor are there any unfilled habitats for us to occupy.
Or perhaps I'll be disproven parts 2-4. :)
You guys don't understand evolution or humans. Intelligent people may seek one another out but the facts of the matter are stupid people have 10x as many children. Evolution is when something, anything confers a benefit to something or someone and as a result they pass their genes on more often than others.
I'm of the achool of thought that we are continually evolving as biological 'pushers' dictate. So as the diet has changed the average height increaased etc.I view evolution as a constent state of progression, as it always adapts to change (allbeit slowly)
Thanks for telling me about this Reg, truly fascinating stuff
The ONLY way true evolution takes place is in response to an increased or decreased ability of the members of a species to reach the age of reproduction.
The unique characteristic of humans that makes it most unlikely that humans are evolving is our ability to easily travel anywhere in the world and mix our genes with virtually any other humans. If, somewhere in the world there exists a population that has remained without exposure to any humans outside their geographical confines for hundreds of thousands of years, you would be likely to find that they evolved in some profound ways different from ours. But the chances of ever encountering such an isolated population is growing less and less likely all the time.
Skin color is an interesring phenomenon to examine as a possible evolutionary expression of fitness. When dark-skinned humans from Africa migrated to more northern latitudes, it is likely that those with lighter skin color, which adapted them to be able to better absorb and metabolize vitamin D, began to experience a survival advantage over their darker-skinned brethren, in terms of reaching reproductive age. But the recent ability of man to travel gobally pretty much means that, as a species overall, our skin color is no longer evolving. It is, in fact, inevitable that, over the next few thousand years, there will be no appreciable difference in skin color among humans. There will be very few, if any, people left with either very black or very white skin. You simply can’t mix the genes of people worldwide for thousands of years and have any significant differences among them remain. We are a species that, instead of becoming more evolved, is becoming more homogenized.
For example, such genetic disorders as Tay Sachs Disease and sickle-cell anemia have long been associated with specific races. Why? Because, for most of recent history, those conditions were confined to specific geographial environments. Today, those conditions are showing up, more and more often, outside those races. So why haven’t they evolved out of existence altogether through natural selection? Because, although people with these anomalies suffer greatly, a significant portion of them survive to reproductive age.
One of the arguments profferred by the eugenics movement, including Adolf Hitler, in the ‘20’s; and ‘30’s was that, by ending the lives of the sufferers of genetic disorders before they produce offspring, the species overall would be improved over time. The unfortunate reality is that this is probaby true. Fortunaely, though, most of our species has a degree of empathy with our fellow man to reject that solution and hope that other means of eliminating scourges such as muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis, Down’s Syndrome, hemophilia, and countless others can be found. That is why it is so important to promote such things as stem-cell research.
Bottom line: I doubt very much that there is any true evolution going on within our species. Why would it be? Medical science keeps finding more and more ways to allow virtually everyone to reach reproductive age. Therefore, natural selection cannot occur. Only a long term strategy of artificial selection applied to humans as we apply it to our domestic plants and animals, could really start a species-wide process of genetic change.
Hey at least embed something you can stop the download on, or something that doesn't start playing automatically when you load the page.
Not everyone has unlimited data plans
We are! We evolve differently than other species. We evolve through our culture and social structure. There are some, like Ray Kurzweil, who think that the next step in human evolution is bio-mechanical. He, and others, think that we are destined to be integrated with the technology we create. It sounds astonishing, and I personally don't think it is a good idea (until we can perfect the technology).
Where did you get this video?
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