Has Human Evolution Stopped ?
Curious Droid presents for ways that human evolution could proceed it’s been a hundred and fifty seven years since Charles Darwin published his groundbreaking book the “Origin of Species” in which he proposed the theory of evolution back in 1859. Since then our knowledge of the world and ourselves increased exponentially but what lies ahead for our own human evolution, in this video we wil look at four predictions as to which way human evolution could proceed. Prediction 1 Human evolution has stopped many believe that because we have evolved then it’s natural to assume that the process will just continue like it has done ever since the beginnings of life over 3 billion years ago, however there are now some that are saying that this may not be the case for humans and that in fact our revolution may well have stopped. The proponents of natural selection say that the genetic innovations are only likely to become fixed in small isolated populations for example darwin’s famous Galapagos finches each evolved from their mainland ancestor to fit the unique habitat isolated islands in the Pacific however the modern human race is now incredibly mobile and crossbreeding makes it much less likely for potential significant mutations to become established in the gene pool.The main way that evolution works is by natural selection or the survival of the fittest as Charles Darwin stated in his book but this mechanism has been very much sidelined by humans because of the advances in medicine and healthcare. The fittest will no longer spearhead the evolutionary change because thanks to medical advances the weakest can also live on and pass down their genes when in 1859 the Origin of Species was published only around 50% of British children survived the age of 2,1 today that number is around 99%, though much of this is due to the great reduction in a number of diseases that plagued man until the arrival of modern sanitation over the following decades.In the developed countries the fact that the vast majority now live until at least sexually mature means that the survival of the fittest does not really apply anymore. That part of the Darwinian drive has now gone and now our evolution has effectively stalled and we will stay as we are from and evolutionary standpoint. Prediction No 2. Humans will continue to evolve whilst one group of scientists say that evolution is dead other scientists see plenty of evidence that human evolution is far from over here are a couple of examples that are of recent adaptations which are the first steps in further evolution. The first example is of lactose tolerance in European peoples. Normally children lose the ability to digest lactose in milk after they’ve been weaned this least to people having an intolerant to the lactose which makes them feel sick if they drink milk. This is true of many people who are from Asia, however over the past few thousand years many people living in Europe have developed a gene which gives them the ability to drink milk and also digesting lactose any age. It’s thought that the ancient peoples of Europe used as an additional food source and therefore the people who could drink milk would have a better chance of survival when food was in short supply and this ability has now entered the greater gene pool.This genetic adaptation is seen as a direct effect of the cultural impact of farming changing the genetic makeup of one group of humans even though they were not physically isolated on an island like Charles Darwin’s Galpagos finches. The second example is Thalassemic trait Thalassemia or sickle cell is also known is a condition that many people have if they originated from the hotter climates of the world and where there is a high prevalence of mosquito-borne malaria. This is a genetic adaptation where the blood cells formed differently and carry less hemoglobin leading to varying degrees of anemia but it also gives the carriers of this condition are higher resistance to malaria which is often much more deadly to the general population than the condition itself. It’s now believed over last 10,000 years or so up to 50% of the population of some malarial areas now have gained genetic blood adaptation. Prediction No 3 Transhumanism.The philosophy known as transhumanism see humans taking charge of their evolution and breaking free of their biological limitations by use of advanced technology. In this the future may well belong to “unnatural selection”. Darwinian evolution occurs very slowly and in the case of humans, because of our longer lives can take 10’s or 100’s of thousands of years to occur but our technology has evolved at an exponential rate and things which could directly change the human condition like cloning, genetic enhancement, robotics, artificial intelligence and nanotechnology to name a few continue to change at an ever-increasing rate. Transhumanism of the future raises a huge array of possibilities from super soldiers, to new breeds of athletes, to electronically augmented brains and senses to immortal beings who have had their brains out and atom by atom to transfer their minds to computers.If this were to happen a new type of evolution would emerge controlled not by nature but by man’s wants and needs. In the future it could lead to beings which look as remote to us now as we do to our mouse like ancestors but survived the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Prediction No 4. Evolution of off World colonies. As we stated before Charles Darwins Galpagos finches evolved because they were physically isolated from the mainland where they originally came from however for the humans, earth is now a global village and no part of its surface that cannot be traveled to within a few days if you really want to and have the resources. To really isolate population they would have to be off world for a very long period of time for a new human species to arise. In the far distant future if habitable planets well beyond our solar system were colonized by migrants it could provide the necessary isolation for a new human species to evolve if we had space-faring people who went on one way voyages to distant stars that might be enough to trigger the fixing of the evolution into a new species but if you consider the small group of people that went on a one-way trip to the Americas via Asia some 14,000 years ago and became the native Americans and then compare them to the new europeans which showed up five hundred years ago they are still the same species.So any isolations would need to be in the order of tens of thousands of years nature to take its course. Thanks for watching and I hope you enjoyed the video, if you did then don’t forget to please thumbs up and subscribe for more and if you have any ideas for videos you like to see him please let us know in the comments below. .