Wednesday, 2 March 2011

15 days Monday 1st

In 1859, Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species, a book which transformed our understanding of how life on Earth developed - but ever since then, scientists have wondered whether humans were resourceful enough to remove themselves from the grip of natural selection.

Evolution is still strong, and with the latest research results proves, we are still evolving.

The most obvious example of this is lactose, the sugar in milk. Some 10,000 years ago, before humans started farming, no one could digest this beyond a few years of age. But today, the rate of lactose tolerance differs from region to region. In Ireland, 99% of the people are lactose tolerant, this is completely opposite to those living in India, with very little dairy farming, the figure is less than 5%.

Some people have three children, others have five, but some have none, so natural selection may be working in a different way. Technology may have limited the impact of natural evolution of our lives, natural predation and disease are negated, but that does not mean humans have stopped evolving.

Far from it, in a world of globalisation, the direction of our future evolution is likely to be driven as much by us, as by nature. It may be less dependent on how the world changes us, but ever more so on, our growing ability to change the world.

A very clever man pointed out to me that there are more forces at play in the world than we sometimes imagine. It is keeping those other players happy that makes this world we live in more manageable. This is a part of our evolution, our way of adapting to change. Evolution is happening now and we just can not see it because it takes generations to happen.

This blog has been inspired by Charles Darwin and the Origin of Species.


 

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