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← Darwinian Selection Continues to Influence Human Evolution

Just a thought...'s Avatar Jump to comment 1 by Just a thought...

I've always wondered what the catalysts would be for evolution in an advanced society. With our ability to control nearly all aspects of our environment, from food production to heating and cooling, etc., it seems like the environmental concerns that would lead to adaptation through environmental forces are largely offset by our ability to control these things. We have gained so much in terms of treating diseases and providing for those whith developmental deficiencies that we are largely unaffected (or at least much less so) by those aspects of nature that would have ravaged certain members of our population in the infancy of our species. When you no longer have to worry about things (that we would now consider trivial) like dental problems, common viruses and bacterial infections, what is left to drive that natural selection? Even things that routinely kill people at a relatively young age (cancer, heart disease, etc.) often don't occur until after the childbearing/siring age. Those items would seem to have very little impact on the passing on of genetic traits, and would therefore not be very powerful forces for evolution due to natural selection. I think it is ineveitable that there will be a worldwide economic collapse sometime in the not-so-distant future...and that will likely lead to a rapid increase in observable evolution of our species due to the effect it would have on our abilities to control our environment.

Tue, 01 May 2012 19:07:07 UTC | #938772