Humans are evolving rapidly
December 10, 2007 3:53 PM Subscribe
Humans are evolving more rapidly
posted by stbalbach (136 comments total)
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than in the distant past, according to a new study
published in PNAS. "The massive growth of human populations has led to far more genetic mutations, and every mutation that is advantageous to people has a chance of being selected and driven toward fixation. We are more different genetically from people living 5,000 years ago than they were different from Neanderthals
", says lead author John Hawks.
PNAS has not published the abstract as of today, but it can be read on John Hawks blog under the second link. A more "popular press" story released by the AP is making its way around the wire, here is a copy
. It's a little more entertaining:
Science fiction writers have suggested a future Earth populated by a blend of all races into a common human form. In real life, the reverse seems to be happening. People are evolving more rapidly than in the distant past, with residents of various continents becoming increasingly different from one another. "I was raised with the belief that modern humans showed up 40,000 to 50,000 years ago and haven't changed. The opposite seems to be true."