Counterintuitive ideas and evolution

 

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Since I started being interested in those things, I have thought the idea of human evolution slowing down being counterintuitive. Why should it? It seems more reasonable that it continues about the same as before, or even speeds up.

After all, there are more of us, much more diversity in the circumstances we encounter, and biological predispositions that may appear subtle at our individual human level may have a major impact in an evolutionary perspective.

For instance, if we have a biological predisposition for a disease that only breaks out later in life, it will impact our ability to help our grandchildren, and this may appear of little consequence in individual cases, but over time and over large groups of people, it most certainly will have an evolutionary impact.

And that is the case with innumerable traits. They may appear of little evolutionary significance when we look at individual cases, but it all adds up over time and in larger groups. And this goes for biological predispositions for any trait we can think of, physiological and psychological alike.

So I am glad that some recent research have found just that: human evolution appears to not only continue at a brisk pace, but may even have speeded up over the last few thousands of years. And, it seems to me, most likely will continue to do so.

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