Human Evolution Continues

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Many people assume that human evolution has either stopped or slowed down gradually in recent millennia. It’s pretty easy to understand why. We like to think that outside of some small genetic variation, people are created equal. I mean, everyone knows how darker skin helps against a strong sun and how big breasts help feed both babies and men (in times of famine), but there’s definitely a line you’re not supposed to cross (at least in America) when you’re talking about genetic differences between races.

You probably can’t talk about how Ashkenazi Jews have a higher average intelligence than any other racial group or how Black people dominate sprint events and basketball (no citation needed). But you definitely can talk about how Kenyans win marathons. You can also say pretty much anything negative about White people for some reason.

Well, in any case, human evolution continues. Here’s a journal paper on the details. To sum it up, evolution isn’t happening because of death before reproduction as much as it’s happening because of the overwhelming level of sexual selection that’s happening. In other words, people have more choices than they ever have before. Along with that, the races are mixing as much as they ever have before.

The really interesting thing is how the brain is evolving. One example is how one form of DRD4 has become much more common over the last few thousand years. It’s a “novelty seeking” gene that has been associated with ADHD. It’s not hard to see how that would be advantageous in modern society. See my last post on chaos. But there’s also evolution happening in muscle tissue, hair, hearing, immune-system function, skin pigmentation, sense of smell, and the body’s response to heat stress.

So, what’s the moral here? Well, if human evolution is not only happening, but it’s accelerating, there’s one thing we can say for sure: there could be mutant X-Men living among us. However, since the brain is probably evolving the fastest because this evolution is hidden, the first X-Men won’t be of the Iceman/Cyclops/Nightcrawler variety. Instead, they will be the Professor X’s, the Jean Grey’s, and the Emma Frost’s. I don’t think there’s anything we can do about this, except to invest in the research of anti-telepathy helmets. Hopefully, the government is already doing this.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Human Evolution Continues

  1. ry420guy

    You bring up an important point by noting: “evolution isn’t happening because of death before reproduction as much as it’s happening because of the overwhelming level of sexual selection that’s happening.”

    However, I don’t see how this is a good thing. We will eventually be overrun by bastards and whores; this seems self-evident to me.

    As a society, we can strategically confront this problem. Case in point, the legalization of abortion in 1973 is argued to have been the primary cause of a decrease in the US Crime rate after 1991.

    Following this slippery slope, one might want to impose draconian restrictions on human reproduction a la China or Brave New World. Just wanted to clarify, that’s not something I am suggesting.

  2. IDicky

    I have to agree with the pot smoker above. Sexual selection is alive and well and people like K-fed and Shawn Kemp are out breeding those intelligent enough to master condoms and other forms of birth-control. See the brilliant and under the radar movie, Idiocracy, by Mike Judd. On another tip, props to dchero for his X-Men knowledge. The White Queen reference was a nice touch.

    To add a little more science to this discussion. The most accelerated evolution this occurring presently in the human race is probably communicable disease resistance. Those who developed resistance to herpes and antibiotic resistant gonorrhea will have a huge fitness advantage.

  3. We will eventually be overrun by bastards and whores; this seems self-evident to me.

    I agree that 80% of people will end up falling into these categories. But I also think the disparity between the good genes and the bad genes will grow. It used to be that a beautiful woman had her genes brought back to the median through an arranged marriage with a guy who could never get her on the open market or through the pillaging of her village. If she maintains her pick of mate through the generations, I could easily see genetic sub-groups of humans getting more distinct. What would be the consequences of this disparity? I predict Hating would be at an all time high, overtaking the previous all time high in 1996 at the peak of the East Coast/West Coast feud.

    Those who developed resistance to herpes and antibiotic resistant gonorrhea will have a huge fitness advantage.

    An incredible insight. Can you imagine the first porn star resistant to all known STDs? He would have to go by the ‘Clark Kent’ moniker. And you know there would be one extremely rare STD he wasn’t resistant to: his personal kryptonite. I think I just came up with the plot to the greatest porno of all time.

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