Is Human Evolution Over?SWhat will the future of humanity look like? We know it probably won’t turn us into a being of pure energy, and it won’t necessarily find us more intelligent or prescient. In fact, according to a leading genetics researcher, humans of the future won’t look much different from the humans of today, as modern life has brought our evolution to a standstill.Professor Steve Jones of the University of London, said in a recent lecture that a reduction in the age of human fathers has decreased the percentage of offspring with genetic mutations:
“For a 29-year old father [the mean age of reproduction in the West] there are around 300 divisions between the sperm that made him and the one he passes on – each one with an opportunity to make mistakes. “For a 50-year-old father, the figure is well over a thousand. A drop in the number of older fathers will thus have a major effect on the rate of mutation.”
Improved sanitation, nutrition, and medical care also have an impact, ensuring that 98 percent of children in the Western world survive to age 21 and enabling a greater percentage of members of one generation to pass their genes to the next generation than in previous ages. Humanity’s increasing population and geographic mobility is also to blame:
“Small populations which are isolated can evolve at random as genes are accidentally lost. World-wide, all populations are becoming connected and the opportunity for random change is dwindling. History is made in bed, but nowadays the beds are getting closer together. We are mixing into a global mass, and the future is brown.”
Leading geneticist Steve Jones says human evolution is over [The Times via Slashdot]