1/16/10

In Benjamin Phelan's essay "How We Evolve" (another from the collection The Best American Science and Nature Writing of 2009) he explains how scientists have changed their view about human evolution: once it was thought that we were at the end of the line, that because of medicine, longevity, the end of polygamy, equal rights, and ample opportunity to mate, human evolution had all but stopped, but now that DNA analysis can trace alleles in populations ancient and modern, scientists have found that natural selection is still alive and dynamic in human populations . . . and one of the most studied mutations is that of lactose tolerance, which was non-existent in 5000 year old German skeletons, at 30% rate 3000 years ago, and nearly (but not quite, thus the need for Lactaid!) ubiquitous now . . . so the real question is, what will we evolve into and how will that creature regard us?

2 comments:

zoltan said...

We will evolve into cows.

Dave said...

that will make gary larsen so happy (and he will probably have a resurgence in popularity).

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