Humans are still evolving – and it’s happening faster than ever!

gibraltar_1_ant_tiny.pngVery significant research came to my attention yesterday. A study being published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that humans have evolved in the past 5,000 years up to 100 times more quickly than at any time since their split from the ancestors of modern chimpanzees 6 million years ago.

The study’s principal investigator, anthropologist Dr. John Hawks, was quoted as saying that “The widespread assumption that human evolution has slowed down because it’s easier to live and we’ve conquered nature is absolutely not true. We didn’t conquer nature, we changed it in ways that created new selection pressures on us.” The surge in global population had led to faster evolution since more mutations occur, the researchers said. They think that in the future, the tendency to start families later in life will drive evolution. “People are having problems with infertility, so any kind of genetic variation that increases the success of later fertility will be selected for,” said Hawks.

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