How have humans effected, negatively or otherwise, our Evolutionary changes threw out our history?
Given things like the massive amounts of extra hormones, from meat. That may change, not only epigenetic traits, our pheromone signals, that we use to detect mostly different immune systems. Huge amounts of the population getting plastic surgery, that changed symmetric clues we use to pick strong genetic traits. Also many other things like obesity, smoking, drug addiction, ever changing gene flow within and between regions etc.
So how has this effected us in the past and how will this affect us in future generations?
Any studies on this will be greatly appreciated.
- 8 years agoFavorite Answer
Depends on if you are a believer in Evolution or not....there are strong arguments on both sides of this story.
If you are going to go down the path of Evolution as being gospel, there are some very simple ways that humans have affected their own evolution. The advances in medicine and healthcare is a very good example....let me explain.
Evolution is in a basic sense - survival of the fittest. If a disease or other characteristic hampers survival or procreation than that trait is likely to be stamped out. An example here would be severe combined immunodeficiency. An immune system this is very weak or non-functional usually sees a person with no medical intervention die at a very young age. Therefore from an evolutionary stand point, if this is a genetic trait it is likely to be erased over many generations, as these people have a low life expectancy and are unlikely to pass this trait on to future generations.
However with the advances in healthcare, we can artificially extend the life expectancy of people who have diseases that were once child killers. Cystic fibrosis is a good example here. Patients 100 years ago would have died by their teens and at best early 20s. Healthcare now provides a far better outcome for such people with their average life expectancy now well within their 50s. Such people are now able to live to adult hood and have a higher likelihood of passing these genetic traits on to their children. Another good example with this disease are congenital defects in Cystic fibrosis males. Often males lack the vas deference connecting the penis to the testies. IVF now offers such people the ability to procreate when 30 years ago this was not possible. Therefore from an evolutionary standpoint it could be argued that we have negatively affected evolution by medical intervention.
This argument does get somewhat complicated as inheritance patterns can be argued about endlessly, and there is also the case with autosomal recessive diseases that defective genes are passed on to the next generation without causing disease in the carriers. So its not as simple as eventually saying CF patients will eventually die out due to evolution if no medical intervention is offered and the disease will be no more.
Another interesting side to this question is how we could use (in theory) evolutionary traits and to stamp out diseases such as HIV/AIDS. That is to use evolution for good. Christans would state that people should have sex only with their marriage partner AND wait to have sex with that partner until married. Like or loathe this idea, or agree with it or not, there is an interesting advantage to the transmission of disease because of it. If you think about it, if this idea was universally adopted by all people world-wide, there is the possibility that within a few generations sexually transmitted diseases could be eradicated! No more people dying of aids, no more risk of getting something from your sex partner and no more millions of dollars needed to try and find vaccines and treatments.......Now yes I hear you ask "what about the drug addicts etc etc"....and this is a whole other chapter that doesnt need to be delved into for the depth of this discussion.
Its fair to say there are arguments for both sides of this question. Have we affected our own evolution due to our own seeming harmless actions? Who knows....however it is theoretically possible. Humans do tend to have a habit of trying to fix things that "aint broke", and therefore create bigger problems.
Time will tell i guess
- Anonymous4 years ago
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