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  1. 19 Apr '18 20:37 / 1 edit
    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2007/dec/15/genetics.evolution

    ""We've been almost indoctrinated with this notion that human evolution stopped
    long ago," says Henry Harpending, an anthropologist at the University of Utah.
    "Part of the problem was that in the 1950s, social science, in order to validate
    itself, needed a homogenous humanity, and if you read the literature,
    it's as if there was a truce. It seems biologists wouldn't even talk about it."

    Many people ignorantly claim that all human skin is exactly alike except
    for variations (lighter or darker) in pigmentation. In fact, as dermatologists
    know, there are biochemical differences in the skin of different populations ('races' ).

    "Thanks to Darwin's half-cousin, Sir Francis Galton, who advanced
    theories of eugenics and racial superiority, investigations into recent
    human evolution and the inevitable differences between disparate
    populations were for a long time only for the brave or foolish."

    Citing measurable differences 'between disparate populations' usually
    leads being accused, if not vilified, of racism.

    ""Natural selection has almost become irrelevant," he wrote. "There's
    been no biological change in humans in 40,000 years or 50,000 years.
    Everything we call culture and civilisation we've built with the same body and brain."
    --Stephen Jay Gould

    FALSE. In fact, within only a few thousand years of moving from the lowlands
    to high altitude in the Himalayas, people have evolved in ways to allow them
    to work more efficiently at high altitude. Sherpas are different from lowlanders.

    "Harpending's group published details of a study that asked how much
    humans have evolved in the past 80,000 years, a period that includes the
    exodus of humanity from Africa. The answer, they concluded, was an awful lot.
    They identified a rapid increase in evolution, as our ancestors adapted
    first to harsh latitudes with miserable climates, then to farming, which
    revolutionised the human diet. Harpending's group studied the DNA of
    four distinct groups around the planet: Japanese, Han Chinese, Europeans
    and Yoruba in Africa. They found that nearly 2,000 genes, or 7% of the
    genome, have been subjected to recent natural selection."

    "Bruce Lahn, a geneticist at the University of Chicago in Illinois, has reported
    evolutionary changes in the brain, caused by two new genes involved in
    brain growth that emerged around 37,000 and 5,800 years ago."

    ""I'm confident that unless we go off and colonise some other planet, we
    could come back in 5,000 years and people would look much the same,
    but their intellectual abilities might be quite different," says Chris Wills,
    a geneticist at the University of California, San Diego. He believes our
    brains will be the main focus of future evolutionary changes.
    "The essence of human beings is their intelligence and at the present
    time people have an enormous range of different abilities. My prediction is one
    of the ways we'll evolve is to add genes that increase our range of abilities," he says."

    While it's politically fashionable to insist that every population's brains must
    be exactly alike, there's no scientific evidence that supports that assumption.

    I wish that we can oppose racist discrimination without pretending (which
    is anti-scientific) that all populations must be exactly alike except for skin pigmentation.
    But most people may not have evolved to a level of intellectual maturity to do that.
  2. 19 Apr '18 20:42
    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/apr/19/mystery-of-sea-nomads-amazing-ability-to-freedive-is-solved

    "Mystery of sea nomads' amazing ability to freedive is solved
    Scientists have uncovered the secrets of the Bajau people, long-famed for
    their ability to hold their breath for extraordinary lengths of time."

    Evolution did it.

    "Now experts say they have the answer: over time the Bajau people have undergone
    natural selection, resulting in certain versions of genes becoming widespread – many of
    which are linked to biological changes, including having a larger spleen, that could help
    the Bajau to hold their breath underwater for many minutes at a time."

    "As a result the team used an ultrasound device to measure the spleen in 43 Bajau
    people and 33 people from a neighbouring group of farming people, the Saluan.
    “The spleen size is about 50% larger in these sea nomads than it is in the [Saluan], so
    already it was like ‘Oh my God – it is really [an] extreme physiological characteristic,”
    said Prof Eske Willerslev, a co-author of the study from the University of Cambridge."

    "Stephen Stearns, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Yale University who
    was not involved in the research, saidthe study adds to evidence for recent natural selection
    on certain genes in human populations – with previous examples including genes for
    lactose tolerance that cropped up with the advent of domestication of dairy animals, and
    genes for adaptation to high altitude in Tibetans and Native Americans in the Andes."

    Natural selection does not stop even if it's become 'politically incorrect' to mention it.
  3. 20 Apr '18 07:35 / 7 edits
    In fact, if anything, the evidence from various studies suggests human evolution is speeding up, not slowing down!

    http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2007/12/human-evolution-speeding

    https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/12/071211-human-evolution.html

    But, to those that better understand how evolution works, this will come as no surprise. This is partly because, and contrary to popular belief, evolution isn't about "survival of the fittest" (else peacock tail feathers wouldn't evolve that clearly hinder individual survival) but rather its about passing on genes and it is much more subtle.
  4. 20 Apr '18 15:36
    Anyone with even the most basic knowledge of evolution theory knows that human evolution has never stopped and never will.
  5. 20 Apr '18 17:11 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by @kazetnagorra
    Anyone with even the most basic knowledge of evolution theory knows that human evolution has never stopped and never will.
    If I recall correctly, No1Marauder (a lawyer who reads popular science books) apparently
    assumes that evolution stopped affecting human brains long ago, so all populations today
    must have exactly the same brains.

    Human evolution would stop if humans become extinct.
  6. Subscriber ogb
    22 Apr '18 04:56
    Originally posted by @duchess64
    If I recall correctly, No1Marauder (a lawyer who reads popular science books) apparently
    assumes that evolution stopped affecting human brains long ago, so all populations today
    must have exactly the same brains.

    Human evolution would stop if humans become extinct.
    Aliens have controlled our evolution. They messed with out blood type and DNA.. That's why there was the big flood, too
  7. Subscriber sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    23 Apr '18 14:47 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by @duchess64
    If I recall correctly, No1Marauder (a lawyer who reads popular science books) apparently
    assumes that evolution stopped affecting human brains long ago, so all populations today
    must have exactly the same brains.

    Human evolution would stop if humans become extinct.
    I think that should be WHEN humans become extinct. We have a max date also. Even if we manage to build civilizations around planets in star systems a million light years from Earth, we will still have an end date, a billion years from now, future alien archaeologists will not even be able to find a trace of those long ago humans. Maybe some bacterial traces they can extrapolate our history from but not much else.

    We humans are just a tiny blip in time on the cosmic scale.

    BTW, I heard about the speen case from a NPR show called 'quirks and quarks'. Amazing proof of present day evolution. Ken Ham, take that
  8. 23 Apr '18 17:42 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by @duchess64
    The essence of human beings is their intelligence and at the present
    time people have an enormous range of different abilities. My prediction is one
    of the ways we'll evolve is to add genes that increase our range of abilities," he says."

    While it's politically fashionable to insist that every population's brains must
    be exactly alike, there's no s ...[text shortened]... mentation.
    But most people may not have evolved to a level of intellectual maturity to do that.
    The identification of a gene variant that controls spleen size during development in the Bajau people is an excellent scientific study. It's kind of amazing what the Bajau are capable of, and very cool that someone identified a mechanism that allows them to "store" oxygenated blood in their huge spleens for longer dives.

    But you lost me with this politically-fashionable brain thing. How would that mechanism of natural selection work? In our current ecosystem, would higher (or lower) intelligence lead to advantages as it pertains to natural selection? Do you need to be smart to have children?
  9. 23 Apr '18 19:28 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by @wildgrass
    The identification of a gene variant that controls spleen size during development in the Bajau people is an excellent scientific study. It's kind of amazing what the Bajau are capable of, and very cool that someone identified a mechanism that allows them to "store" oxygenated blood in their huge spleens for longer dives.

    But you lost me with this polit ...[text shortened]... ead to advantages as it pertains to natural selection? Do you need to be smart to have children?
    "In our current ecosystem, would higher (or lower) intelligence lead to advantages as it pertains to natural selection?"
    --Wildgrass

    Human intelligence is a mosaic. It cannot be measured in only one dimension.
    Let's speak of diverse kinds of intelligence.

    Wilfred Thesiger was an upper-class Englishman who was educated at Eton and Oxford.
    He spent many months living and traveling with Bedu (who became his friends) in Arabia's
    Rub' al Khali (Empty Quarter) desert. By the standards of Western academic learning, he
    was regarded as much more intelligent than his Bedu friends (some of whom could hardly write their names).
    But in the desert--the harsh unforgiving environment to which the Bedu's lives were adapted--
    Wilfred Thesiger felt almost as helpless as a child. The Bedu had some amazing abilities
    that seemed almost beyond rational explanation. After looking at some clues (which were
    invisible to Thesiger) on the ground, a Bedu gave a detailed account of the people who
    had passed that way days ago, their condition, their likely route and destination, and other things.
    Even in fiction, Sherlock Holmes could have done no better. It was later confirmed that
    this Bedu's reading of his environment was completely accurate. It shows the extent to which
    intelligence can adapt to being able to survive in an environment with no margin of error.

    "Do you need to be smart to have children?"
    --Wildgrass

    Hardly any intelligence is needed for a male to impregnate a female.
    In modern societies, highly educated women tend to have fewer children.
    It's hard to combine working for a PhD with having and rearing babies, so highly educated
    women tend to postpone marriage and motherhood, events that sometimes never happen for them.
  10. 23 Apr '18 19:54
    Originally posted by @duchess64
    Hardly any intelligence is needed for a male to impregnate a female.
    In modern societies, highly educated women tend to have fewer children.
    It's hard to combine working for a PhD with having and rearing babies, so highly educated
    women tend to postpone marriage and motherhood, events that sometimes never happen for them.
    Yes, that was implied in my somewhat rhetorical question. Intelligence evolved through natural selection as a means to solve complex problems, e.g. tool usage, socialization and disease resistance.

    I should rephrase: In our current ecosystem, through what naturally selective mechanism do you think human intelligence will evolve? Will it have anything to do with what is politically fashionable?

    In my opinion, it is our intellectual diversity that is important in the current ecosystem. Different strokes for different folks, if you will. Therefore, absent a near-extinction event, the intelligence of our population will not grossly change.
  11. 23 Apr '18 20:56 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by @wildgrass
    Yes, that was implied in my somewhat rhetorical question. Intelligence evolved through natural selection as a means to solve complex problems, e.g. tool usage, socialization and disease resistance.

    I should rephrase: In our current ecosystem, through what naturally selective mechanism do you think human intelligence will evolve? Will it have anything t ...[text shortened]... ore, absent a near-extinction event, the intelligence of our population will not grossly change.
    Wildgrass seems ignorant (or confused) about the well-known political controversies
    concerning discussion of differences in intelligence among human populations.

    On one hand, racists have a long record of apparently exaggerating differences in intelligence
    among human populations ('races' ) and claiming a solely genetic explanation for them.
    For instance, many white racial supremacists like to claim that the average higher IQ scores
    of whites over blacks in the USA prove that white people are the most intelligent 'race' in the world.
    I regard that as absurd, particularly when these white racial supremacists ignore all the
    evidence that white people have lower average IQ scores than some East Asians.

    On the other hand, many avowed anti-racists go too far, in my view, by attempting to deny
    that there could be any differences in the brains of different human populations, even when
    they have adapted to very different environments. I know of no scientific reason to believe
    that a San in the Kalaharit must have a brain that's exactly the same as an Inuit in the Arctic.

    I wish that people were psychologically secure and intellectually mature enough to accept
    the existence of genetic differences among human populations while insisting that all humans
    should have equal rights and be treated with equal dignity. But most people seem to lack that maturity.
  12. 24 Apr '18 02:59
    Originally posted by @duchess64
    Wildgrass seems ignorant (or confused) about the well-known political controversies
    concerning discussion of differences in intelligence among human populations.

    On one hand, racists have a long record of apparently exaggerating differences in intelligence
    among human populations ('races' ) and claiming a solely genetic explanation for them.
    For ins ...[text shortened]... ave equal rights and be treated with equal dignity. But most people seem to lack that maturity.
    What is the mechanism that would (or might) allow current humans to evolve a new intelligence through natural selection?
  13. 24 Apr '18 18:20
    Originally posted by @wildgrass
    What is the mechanism that would (or might) allow current humans to evolve a new intelligence through natural selection?
    "Bruce Lahn, a geneticist at the University of Chicago in Illinois, has reported
    evolutionary changes in the brain, caused by two new genes involved in
    brain growth that emerged around 37,000 and 5,800 years ago."

    ""I'm confident that unless we go off and colonise some other planet, we
    could come back in 5,000 years and people would look much the same,
    but their intellectual abilities might be quite different," says Chris Wills,
    a geneticist at the University of California, San Diego. He believes our
    brains will be the main focus of future evolutionary changes.
    "The essence of human beings is their intelligence and at the present
    time people have an enormous range of different abilities. My prediction is one
    of the ways we'll evolve is to add genes that increase our range of abilities," he says.

    Why doesn't Wildgrass ask (or troll) Chris Wills? It's his prediction.
  14. 24 Apr '18 23:37
    Originally posted by @sonhouse
    I think that should be WHEN humans become extinct. We have a max date also. Even if we manage to build civilizations around planets in star systems a million light years from Earth, we will still have an end date, a billion years from now, future alien archaeologists will not even be able to find a trace of those long ago humans. Maybe some bacterial trace ...[text shortened]... PR show called 'quirks and quarks'. Amazing proof of present day evolution. Ken Ham, take that
    "I think that should be WHEN humans become extinct."
    --Sonhouse

    As far as I can infer, most 'patriotic' Americans refuse to concede that the USA (which is
    supposedly uniquely protected and favored by God) could ever cease to exist.

    The Ottoman Empire's motto was "Devlet-i Ebed-müddet", meaning 'the Eternal State'.
    The Ottoman Empire survived for more than 600 years. How many non-Americans
    would like to bet that the USA lasts for as long or longer?
  15. Subscriber sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    25 Apr '18 10:37 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by @duchess64
    "I think that should be WHEN humans become extinct."
    --Sonhouse

    As far as I can infer, most 'patriotic' Americans refuse to concede that the USA (which is
    supposedly uniquely protected and favored by God) could ever cease to exist.

    The Ottoman Empire's motto was "Devlet-i Ebed-müddet", meaning 'the Eternal State'.
    The Ottoman Empire survived for ...[text shortened]... 600 years. How many non-Americans
    would like to bet that the USA lasts for as long or longer?
    The US is ALREADY in its endgame. When idiots like Trump can get elected president, the US takes a hit and will probably not recover since there is no such thing in Trumps so-called mind about how to conduct talks with other countries since he is convinced the US is THE world power, ignoring such countries as China, India, Brazil, Russia, Iran, all those 'third world countries' he thinks are not worthy of true dealing.

    Right now China is set to or already has passed the US in Phd papers submitted and the US is falling behind steadily in terms of climate control and even spaceflight, we lost that bid when we destroyed the plans for the Saturn V rocket which could have had people on Mars by now but the shortsighted government of Nixon and every one since, concluded we won the propaganda race, story over, just a publicity stunt, we are the best, no need to actually go into space for real. Its no wonder Americans are the ones saying we never went to the moon. Now Trump has tried to kill all EPA rules, let's build way more coal plants, who needs fusion, wave power, solar, all fake news.

    It's sad really, for Americans anyway.