Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Social ScienceAnthropology · 6 years ago

Are humans still evolving?

I believe in evolution and I was having a debate about it with a creationist when they asked " if evolution exists, then why aren't we still evolving?" I mean, honestly I believe we are but I need another opinion.

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  • Paul B
    Lv 7
    6 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    1) Biological evolution by natural selection tends to work very gradually, very slowly - especially for us slow reproducing hominins. You'd need to go back at the very least 300,000 years to see any noticeable change - and up to two million years (2,000,000) years ago to see significant adaptations in our morphology. Is your friend expecting to see it in their lifetime? Doesn't work like that.

    2) Having said that, examples of recent evolution over the past several millenia can be found. The classic example being the gene that switches off lactose tolerance in adolescence. A mutation has occurred that does not switch off the tolerance, in populations that have a history of cattle and other livestock farming, allowing them to benefit from dairy produce that otherwise made them sick. Alternatively, many local divergences in the human gene pool over the past 10,000 - 100,000 years, as a result of semi-isolation, have produced a range of localised phenotypes that we know as 'races'.

    3) Are we still evolving? A lot of people debate that one. Some argue that we've released ourselves from the forces of natural selection, as a result of greatly reduced child mortality rates, improved social welfare, healthcare, food production, etc. However, that does not apply to every population, and has occurred very recently over the past 150 years. Hardly time for us to announce the end of human evolution. In addition, sexual selection can still produce an effect, and we are now on the brink of adding our own genetic engineering to replace natural selection in the fight against degenerative and hereditary illnesses.

  • 6 years ago

    Humans are still evolving and actually evolving faster than ever before. Consider that it took millions of years to start walking in two legs and more millions to develop the large brains. Changes now can be less noticeable but they are happening faster.

    http://infoproc.blogspot.com/2008/12/recent-natura...

    Since the origin of agriculture and farming 10,000 years ago, important mutations have taken place.

    http://www.tokresource.org/tok_classes/biobiobio/b...

    You are not supposed to believe in evolution, you are supposed to UNDERSTAND evolution. And really, what use is to debate with creationists. You would be luckier going to the zoo and trying to debate with an orangutan. Try that. You could get some insight looking into the eyes of our cousins the big apes.

    Edit: I though you'd enjoy this.

    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/10/recent-h...

    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/11/recent-h...

  • 6 years ago

    Yes, of course we are. Evolution is just a change in allele frequency in a population over time. Good luck preventing that from happening. Large evolutionary changes can take hundreds of thousand if not millions of years, of course. But look at lactose tolerance - it's fairly recent and it's spreading like wildfire. Actually I believe there are 2 different mutations that confer tolerance currently fighting it out.

    If your friend/opponent thinks evolution only means dogs giving birth to whales there's no hope for him, by the way. Creationists don't understand evolution.

  • 6 years ago

    Yes almost all organisms on planet earth go through the evolution process and to answer the creationist's question, the process of evolution takes time. When I say time I mean almost a good 100 generations.

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  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    yes.

    We are almost a foot taller than we were 500 years ago (no modern man would fit into mediaval suits of armor)

    IQ scores have been rising by like 2 points every 10 years. They have to adjust the tests to keep the mean at 100.

  • 6 years ago

    Generally, evolution can only be observed over an extended period of time. Humans can evolve, but currently we are not.

  • Joycie
    Lv 6
    6 years ago

    Pay attention to the new. They are devolving.

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