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Are Humans Still Evolving?

  1. superwags profile image82
    superwagsposted 6 years ago

    It was long regarded that humans have done the majority of their evolving and have largely stopped because of the cushy way in which technology has influenced out lives.

    In characteristics like skin colour, lactose tolerance and capillary density in people living at high altitude it is obvious that we have had a degree of evolution acting upon us for the past 250,000 years; but is it still happening today?

    1. profile image0
      Brenda Durhamposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Evolving into what?  haha
      Well, we adapt sometimes.
      I won't get into a big discussion of biological evolution.
      Just got tickled at remembering a Stephen King movie where a meteor hits the ground outside his character's home (King often played bit roles or whole roles in his shows).  He touches the glowing green ground and eventually winds up with green moss-like stuff engulfing his whole body.  He gives an awestruck but resigned look and says "I'm GROWING!"  LOL  I cracked up.  The man sure has a wild imagination.

      1. superwags profile image82
        superwagsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        As I've said earlier, this is in the science and eductaion forum, not the religious forum.

        1. profile image0
          Brenda Durhamposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Umm....I didn't say anything about religion!
          But please excuse me if you thought my post wasn't okay?  I was just inserting a funny point into it, actually related to the discussion of evolution....

    2. qwark profile image61
      qwarkposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      ..of course they are!
      As long as life  exists, evolution will be in full blossom and healthy!
      Qwark

      1. superwags profile image82
        superwagsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        I guess the question was whether we'd evolve in a discernable way in our current conditions? There are no longer the evolutionary pressures that were present before.

        Obviously evolution will still be a possibility to adapt to a certain pressures, but do these still matter, given medicine, technology etc?

        More over, because we are so interconected now; is it likely that there would be sufficient geographic isolation to keep inherited traits like skin colour etc.?

        1. qwark profile image61
          qwarkposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Wags:
          Evolution is controlled by environment.
          As Melpor said evolution, relevant to complex life, is very tortuous and slow.
          The more complex the species the longer it takes to make  necessary adaptations as environments change.
          "ALL" that we are, wherever we exist on this planet, is due to the environment within which facets of the human species lingers or has developed over great periods of time.
          Man is currently, profoundly involved in his evolution and as long as he survives, evolution will always be be doing it's natural job as it does with all other life.
          Skin color, the ability of the body to carry oxygen in people living in high altitudes, all the digestive processes have been explained and are not a mystery.
          Thanks for the response.
          Qwark

          1. superwags profile image82
            superwagsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            But if I had to postulate on whether humans will evolve in a discernable way in the future, I'd have thought it'd be unlikely, save for a disaster such as a pandemic with which modern medicine couldn't immediately solve. If AIDS was left uncontrolled for example then it'd be likely that it would leave people with the CCR5 allele behind to continue on evolutionary progress.

            Let me be clear, I am aware that evolution is an organic process which will go on every time the genetic code is transcribed to a new individual, however I don't see ourselves as likely to be profoundly affected by it going forward unless we ourselves choose to apply it in a "designer baby" scenario. I don't see where an advantageous mutation is likely to be magnified through evolution anymore.

            I mean, clearly it has in past - and in relatively short periods of time, as I posted to Melpor on a couple of points (skin colour and digestive process). But is this going to be given the opportunity to influence us in the present and future?

            Andy

            1. qwark profile image61
              qwarkposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Hi Andy:

              Since we cannot predict the future even, from day to day, why would anyone think that evolution would evolve in a "discernable way," unless accomplished under controlled circumstances?

              There is no doubt, in my mind, that if man survives the next 100 yrs, he will genetically engineer another 'species" of human being. That would be the result of the human, utilizing the fruits of his continuing evolution. Having accomplished this, would make your thought: "I don't see where an advantageous mutation is likely to be magnified through evolution anymore." (of course it might not be advantageous) null and void.

              Andy, I understand your point. Evolution, as it relates to "us" will not be recognized by the LAYPERSON in OUR lifetime.

              If we last another millenia and have not been involved in a disaster that will adversely affect our intellectual progress, the possibility exists that man will learn to control his environment, thus controlling his evolution and as an adjunct will have progressed like a geometric progression in his tech abilities.

              I don't see that as being a possibility tho.

              If you've read any of my "hubs," I, pessimistically, predict a massive reduction in human population sometime in the next 50 yrs.

              Fingers crossed I am wrong.

              Qwark

    3. thisisoli profile image56
      thisisoliposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Yes.

    4. toddwertz profile image60
      toddwertzposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I think so. I f you believed that humans had evolved since the very beginning according to Charles Darwin, then it could be possible. This is my own view.

    5. Shahid Bukhari profile image60
      Shahid Bukhariposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      We ... Humans ... are the ultimate "living" Time Machines !
      ... and not ... what H.G.Wells or other Science's rationalized Fiction writers, like Darwin, have to say on the subject.

      Our "evolution" ... if Evolution is the right word, begins, when we are conceived by our mothers ... we evolve 100% unto the human form ...
      never 97%, or 99% ... this being the Rule ... then we grow; meaning, Evolve, ... from a child, unto the adult, and on to old age ... and then we die.

      Modern Genetists, are however, trying their level best, to alter The Ordained Course of Human Evolution ... but rest assured ... they will fail.

      1. superwags profile image82
        superwagsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Erm, ok. I'm not really sure what you're on about...

        I'm not sure you're really going to be much use in this debate!

      2. qwark profile image61
        qwarkposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        ...this is pure, unadulterated idiocy! ILMAO!  smile:
        Qwark

        1. superwags profile image82
          superwagsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Hehe, this guy cracks me up! Check out some of his other responses. They're like the ramblings of an embarrassing mad and drunken uncle at a family party!

          1. qwark profile image61
            qwarkposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Wags:
            WE've been putting up with his religiously inspired idiocy for years.
            I usually don't respond to any of his comments, but this one was so funny, I just had to...smile:
            Qwark

    6. Pakmara profile image59
      Pakmaraposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      evolution is a change that goes beyond the species border.
      Mutation is a change within the species. Have you seen mutation that lasts longer than one generation?

      The only change you can see is that people are getting taller (or fatter smile ) but this isn't conditioned by some external necessity like "the need to see beyond tall grass" or something.

      So, if mutations are not taking place, what can we say about evolution.

      1. superwags profile image82
        superwagsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Almost everything you've just said there is wrong. In answer to whether mutation lasts longer than one generation, the answer of course is yes. In fact I'm quite baffled that you've actually said that! I thought even the most dyed in the wool creationist would have to accept that at least!

        I'm really not sure that this justifies a proper response.

  2. Pandoras Box profile image82
    Pandoras Boxposted 6 years ago

    I sincerely hope so.

  3. rorymullen profile image60
    rorymullenposted 6 years ago

    I honestly can not accept that we came from Monkeys or mice or any other creature that we are genetically close to. I think God put us on earth and with time everything evolves giving time. Look at the fish give them time and more fish will be able to walk on land.

    1. simeonvisser profile image89
      simeonvisserposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      You don't seem to understand how evolution works. It does not claim we came from monkeys (nor mice). It also does not claim fish will walk on land tomorrow.

    2. superwags profile image82
      superwagsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      That's great Rory, but this forum is on "Education and Science", not on "Beliefs and Religion".

    3. pisean282311 profile image58
      pisean282311posted 6 years ago in reply to this

      god put us on earth is one of first concepts which humans had...though proven wrong but it was first answer of its kind...slowly reasonable findings proved that theory wrong...

    4. Sneha Sunny profile image84
      Sneha Sunnyposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      i think, however both science and god/religious concepts gives the same conclusion (like humans were evolved)  but when we  talk about it  in deep (like about how humans were evolved), science and religious views will always oppose each other......

  4. Mikeydoes profile image80
    Mikeydoesposted 6 years ago

    This might be the easiest question I have ever answered.

    Absolutely. Our brain is evolving, as we get smarter and smarter. If we were to live in complete darkness, there is no doubt in my mind we would evolve a new way to see. And possibly even lose our eyes.  That certainly would be something wouldn't it?

    1. rorymullen profile image60
      rorymullenposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Would we use our eyes like cats or evolve like bats.

      1. profile image0
        jomineposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        It would have been better if you cared to use your brain.....

    2. superwags profile image82
      superwagsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      But is our brain evolving in a Darwinian sense? People are't dying out for the most part because our brains are taking in more information (don't take into account "Darwin award" winners!).

      I'm just not sure there's sufficient evolutionary pressure on 99% of humans any more.

      1. rorymullen profile image60
        rorymullenposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        We will not evolve any more faster due to the stigma of practicing controversial  medicine on humans. We need to take drastic measures to see if we can tap into what our brains can handle.

      2. Mark Knowles profile image60
        Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Yes - we are evolving. This is a process that cannot stop - ever. The pressure is simply "artificial" now - i.e. - we create it ourselves to a large extent. The more we control and pollute our environment - the more we will be forced to adapt. Another 100 years burning fossil fuels and we will either adapt or die. Simple.

        1. superwags profile image82
          superwagsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Actually, having just joked about Glasgow with you, there's actually an important study that focuses on that city in particular.

          Its (in)famously low age of death is down to greater levels of antibodies in people's systems as children. Basically, it is more beneficial (or was in the 19th and early 20th century) for kids to have higher survival rates to reproductive age than it was for them to live for a long time. The upshot is that places like Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham residents have a lower life expectancy regardless of other factors.

          When I ask, are we evolving, I suppose what I'm asking is whther any of these traits will show up, or have enough time to show up in any meaningful sense in the modern world?

          1. Mark Knowles profile image60
            Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Yes. I forget the name, but people of white European descent developed an gene that makes them more resistant to AIDS than other races.

            The thinking is that this developed during one of the European plagues and has a beneficial side effect. I will see if I can find the information when I get back from my therapy session.

            The google shift has not been kind to me. Going for a run in the woods. big_smile

            1. Amanda Severn profile image92
              Amanda Severnposted 6 years ago in reply to this



              I remember seeing a documentary about that. It focused on Eyam in Derbyshire, the so-called plague village. Some of the families living there survived the Black Death, and their descendants still live in the area. They have been found to have the same genetic marker as certain prostitutes and members of the gay community who have remained healthy despite repeated exposure to HIV.

              1. Mark Knowles profile image60
                Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                CCR5-Δ32 allele

                http://qjmed.oxfordjournals.org/content/99/8/497.full

                Mostly Northern Europeans developed it.

                1. superwags profile image82
                  superwagsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  I don't like the opening line of this article that "Black Death and AIDs have really captured the popular imagination"! I think if I'd reviewed this I may have recommended a change here!

          2. Pandoras Box profile image82
            Pandoras Boxposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            That study sounds interesting. Got a link or a name?

            1. superwags profile image82
              superwagsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news … s-science/

              The UCL study mentioned within this is the study to which I refered earlier (I think!!). I'm not sure it mentions it here in too much detail, but in some big industrial cities in the UK (and presumably the world over) where the disease problem was really accute, people overactive immune systems cause the their bodies to shut down even more quickly in the long run.

              As far as evolution is concerned, it doesn't really matter whether you die at 40 or 140 of course, so long as you've kicked out your kids by that time!

              1. Pandoras Box profile image82
                Pandoras Boxposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                Thank you, I don't think I'd heard that before. The first part yes, about exposure causing greater resistance, but not about the association with reduction in life spans.

                Interesting, thanks.

  5. melpor profile image90
    melporposted 6 years ago

    Every living organism on earth including human are always evolving from generation to generation. Each offspring of all living organism is a slight improvement over the previous generation. Evolution is the essence of life, only the fittest survives and the weakest dies. Evolution does not stop for an organism until it become extinct.

    1. superwags profile image82
      superwagsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      When I ask, are we evolving, I suppose what I'm asking is whther any of these traits will show up, or have enough time to show up in any meaningful sense in the modern world?

      1. melpor profile image90
        melporposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Some traits will take thousands of years to present itself. Remember it took about 4 million years to get to where we are now. Evolution is a very gradual process. There are some noticeable traits such as increase in height, the ability to consume carbonhydrates, a leaner body, etc., just to name a few that have occurred over the last thousand years.

        1. superwags profile image82
          superwagsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          That's what I'm getting at; I think it's unlikely that much evolution could still take place given the time it takes and the geographic isolation generally needed.

          I'm fasciated by the evolution of traits like skin colour, the bodys' ability to carry oxygen in people living in high altitudes and the ability to process alcohol, milk etc.

          It's likely that we've bee able to digest lactose for around only 7000 years, white coloured skin may have originated in Europe less than 10,000 years ago etc. That's a pretty short space of time in a humans who'd already pretty much established animal husbandry and farming practices. Even so, evolutionary pressure would have been far greater then...

  6. wilderness profile image97
    wildernessposted 6 years ago

    Yes, we are evolving and doing it at super speed.

    Look at old suits or armor - the average man can't fit in them today because we're bigger.

    We are losing our wisdom teeth - many never grow them now and jaws are getting smaller

    There are many such things that are changing in the human species.

    1. superwags profile image82
      superwagsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      The change in height is mainly down to better nutrition and general health though. It is remarkable how much taller we've become since even the turn of the 20th century.

      It looks like wisdom teeth will hang on bacause of modern medicine. People just don't die of wisdom teeth anymore. Or appendix problems. They probably would have proided sufficient evolutionary pressure to get shot of them out of our genetics without medicine though!

  7. joshhunt83 profile image60
    joshhunt83posted 6 years ago

    I think we're evolving mentally. As the global knowledge base increases as a race we're evolving because of it. In terms of physical evolution that is a difficult one.

    1. Pandoras Box profile image82
      Pandoras Boxposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Social evolution. Very good, but not quite the same thing.

    2. maven101 profile image78
      maven101posted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I disagree..By simply increasing our knowledge base does not increase our genetic IQ...Critical thinking requires effort and concentration...The enormous accessibility of knowledge now available at the click of a mouse is not much incentive for brain development...The folks that built the pyramids, the Great Wall of China, the Greek philosophers, all developed critical thinking skills with a bare minimum of prior information...Someone here has stated that we are getting smarter...I contend that those ancients were just as " smart " if not more so, than present humans...

  8. optimus grimlock profile image59
    optimus grimlockposted 6 years ago

    We still are evolving! The problem is we get involed in to much trivial stuff to progess as a human race.

  9. Onusonus profile image86
    Onusonusposted 6 years ago

    I always wonder how scientists explain how the human race seemed to suddenly have this explosion of literature and social behavior only over the last few thousand years. It seems to me that the human mind very suddenly was capable of writing and learning only a few thousand years ago, and since then has gotten to the point where we are able to build monuments and machines of advanced complexity to the point where we are able to send people into space, communicate between hemispheres through extreme technological advances, etc. On an evolutionary scale that is a huge spike in the development of the human mind.

    1. superwags profile image82
      superwagsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      The current theory on that - and this is something we did not have a full explaination for until recently - is the trade in ideas. Humans are the only animals which trade ideas in this way, and trade labour amongst others.

      If you're interested here's a talk given by Matt Ridley (from my own home town!) on the subject of the trade in ideas and why things take off as quickly as they do:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLHh9E5ilZ4

    2. Mark Knowles profile image60
      Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Really - you wondered but never bothered looking I take it? sad

      1. Onusonus profile image86
        Onusonusposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Well it hasn't been a burning desire for me to scrape through the intralies about it.

        1. Mark Knowles profile image60
          Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          No - I figured you would not bother looking. wink

  10. profile image0
    ryankettposted 6 years ago

    It is pretty much proven that we are still evolving, our brains are getting more advanced and larger. We are however devolving physically, we are becoming weaker, as the last 100 years really have been the only years where only the strongest survive and bread with each other to create stronger beings. That is the reason, sadly, why Africans tend to be much more physically strong.... the sad part being that the "survivol of the fittest" is still very much applicable to their children in many parts of the continent.

    Scientists recently announced that the only things getting bigger are our heads smile Literally though.

  11. Sneha Sunny profile image84
    Sneha Sunnyposted 6 years ago

    yes.... one scientist have even given an idea about how the future humans will look..... process of evolution will never stop.... it can stop for some time but as soon as the environment will change our physical look and advancement/capabilities will also change.........

    1. profile image0
      Brenda Durhamposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Okay I gotta ask--
      What does he say humans will look like?

      1. skyfire profile image72
        skyfireposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Some possible physical changes include - big head, less hairs on skin, no appendice etc etc.

        1. superwags profile image82
          superwagsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          But is that right? We need survival pressure on these characteristics for them to evolve to future generations.

          Appendice maybe, but we have medecine to deal with this now, so will it evolve out still, it has in the past obviously.

      2. Sneha Sunny profile image84
        Sneha Sunnyposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        like.....humans will be taller........about 6 to 7 feet, life span upto 120 years, chin will recede, youth and fertility will improve...
        maybe in future our immune system will be weak due dependence on medicine....
        and two sub-species of humans will evolve (genetic upper class and a dim-witted underclass) because People would become choosier about their sexual partners....The descendants of the genetic upper class would be tall, slim, healthy, attractive, intelligent, and creative and a far cry from the "underclass" humans who would have evolved into dim-witted, ugly, squat goblin-like creatures.
        Dr. Curry says that humans will be almost similar to the humans predicted by HG wells in his novel THE TIME MACHINE (1895).

        1. profile image0
          Brenda Durhamposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Wow.
          Just wow for now....
          I gotta google Dr. Curry.

          1. Sneha Sunny profile image84
            Sneha Sunnyposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            its very interesting........ but i was thinking only because of sexual partner's selection, can two different sub-species will evolve......??? because environmental conditions in which we all will live will  be the same.....and since the environment and its effect will be same then the possible changes should be same......

            1. profile image0
              Brenda Durhamposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Dr. Oliver Curry in London...I found an article you refer to.

              Well.  Yeah, I don't understand what he means by the change being caused by sexual partner selection either.

              I find his theory very imaginative, but that's it.  I think he dismisses the fact that humans have always had a wide range of different body heights and shapes.  And from his theory, it would seem that humans are gonna "devolve" instead of "evolve".....

              1. Sneha Sunny profile image84
                Sneha Sunnyposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                yeah.... genetic variations will always be there....
                due to advancement in science we will be able to select the features of our offsprings....their intelligence, colour of eyes, shape of lips etc etc....

                1. superwags profile image82
                  superwagsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  There's a town in Massachusetts that's been part of study in evolution modelling. They found that people would generally become more stocky and slightly shorter in future. Strange one really - what you'd expect.

                  This was discussed on a documetary the other night but I didn't pay enough attention to who's study it was and can't find the reference!

                  1. Sneha Sunny profile image84
                    Sneha Sunnyposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    Dr.curry says  that they will be 6-7feet tall.......  in discovery channel also i have seen that people will be taller......... strange looks, and the number of finger in hands and feet will also increase......

  12. FifthEdition profile image60
    FifthEditionposted 6 years ago

    we are still evolving

  13. Greek One profile image80
    Greek Oneposted 6 years ago

    I would argue that some of us stopped evolving a LONG time ago

    1. pisean282311 profile image58
      pisean282311posted 6 years ago in reply to this

      considering you natural instinct , it sounds pretty true wink

  14. alexisanne1977 profile image60
    alexisanne1977posted 6 years ago

    Yes!  Undeniably YES!

  15. Hokey profile image60
    Hokeyposted 6 years ago

    How could we not evolve? We create our conditions by our actions.

    1. Pandoras Box profile image82
      Pandoras Boxposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      If we could all learn just that we'd have made a huge step.

 
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