Study shows humans still evolving

Oct 04, 2011 by Deborah Braconnier report

(PhysOrg.com) -- A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences provides evidence of human evolution and rapid genetic changes suggesting that, contrary to modern claims, technological and cultural advancements have not halted the evolutionary process in humans.

The new study, led by geneticist Emmanuel Milot from the University of Quebec, looked at a group of women from the remote island town of Ile aux Coudres in Quebec, Canada. The team looked at the birth, death and marriage records kept by the Catholic Church in the town. They were specifically looking at the data from women who married between 1799 and 1940.

What they discovered was that within that 140 year time frame, the age that the women conceived their first child dropped from 26 to 22. Looking at cultural, social and economic differences in the women, the researchers were able to determine that 30 to 50 percent of this variation in age was explained solely by genetic variations.

This island town was settled by 30 families between 1720 and 1773 and researchers believe that a genetic change occurred in order to provide more time for women to produce a larger number of children in order to grow the population. While the researchers did not look at which specific genes may have been altered over time, they believe possible reasons could have been a change in the age in which the women hit puberty and heritable which pushed them to wanting to start families earlier. These changes were a response to natural selection and the need for a higher number of children in order for gene lines to survive into the future.

This is not the first study to show that human evolution is still happening. Recent studies include the Tibetans to adapt to the lower found in their environment. This change has only occurred throughout the last few hundred generations. Other studies show that humans have only evolved the ability to tolerate lactose in their systems over the last 5,000 or so years.

While many scientists have trended toward the idea that changes in populations are typically due to environmental or social influences in today’s societies, this study shows that while these factors do play a role, and evolution are also still very much a part.

Explore further: Fruit colours evolved to please picky birds, study says

More information: Evidence for evolution in response to natural selection in a contemporary human population, PNAS, Published online before print October 3, 2011, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1104210108

Abstract
It is often claimed that modern humans have stopped evolving because cultural and technological advancements have annihilated natural selection. In contrast, recent studies show that selection can be strong in contemporary populations. However, detecting a response to selection is particularly challenging; previous evidence from wild animals has been criticized for both applying anticonservative statistical tests and failing to consider random genetic drift. Here we study life-history variation in an insular preindustrial French-Canadian population and apply a recently proposed conservative approach to testing microevolutionary responses to selection. As reported for other such societies, natural selection favored an earlier age at first reproduction (AFR) among women. AFR was also highly heritable and genetically correlated to fitness, predicting a microevolutionary change toward earlier reproduction. In agreement with this prediction, AFR declined from about 26–22 y over a 140-y period. Crucially, we uncovered a substantial change in the breeding values for this trait, indicating that the change in AFR largely occurred at the genetic level. Moreover, the genetic trend was higher than expected under the effect of random genetic drift alone. Our results show that microevolution can be detectable over relatively few generations in humans and underscore the need for studies of human demography and reproductive ecology to consider the role of evolutionary processes.

Related Stories

New research provides insight into menopause

Mar 31, 2008

Insight into why females of some species undergo menopause while others do not has proven elusive despite an understanding of the biological mechanisms behind the change.

Is there really a 'mommy' gene in women?

Sep 21, 2007

Basic principles of biology rather than women’s newfound economic independence can explain why fewer of them are getting married and having children, and why the trend may only be temporary, says a Queen’s researcher.

Marriage patterns drive fertility decline

Jul 21, 2010

Researchers at the University of Sheffield have applied an evolutionary 'use it or lose it' principle when studying past marriage patterns, to show that marriage can influence the evolution of age-patterns ...

Late motherhood boosts family lifespan

May 04, 2009

Women who have babies naturally in their 40s or 50s tend to live longer than other women. Now, a new study shows their brothers also live longer, but the brothers' wives do not, suggesting the same genes prolong ...

Language driven by culture, not biology

Jan 20, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Language in humans has evolved culturally rather than genetically, according to a study by UCL (University College London) and US researchers. By modelling the ways in which genes for language might have ...

Recommended for you

Study indicates large raptors in Africa used for bushmeat

10 hours ago

Bushmeat, the use of native animal species for food or commercial food sale, has been heavily documented to be a significant factor in the decline of many species of primates and other mammals. However, a new study indicates ...

The microbes make the sake brewery

11 hours ago

A sake brewery has its own microbial terroir, meaning the microbial populations found on surfaces in the facility resemble those found in the product, creating the final flavor according to research published ahead of print ...

Fighting bacteria—with viruses

12 hours ago

Research published today in PLOS Pathogens reveals how viruses called bacteriophages destroy the bacterium Clostridium difficile (C. diff), which is becoming a serious problem in hospitals and healthcare institutes, due to its re ...

User comments : 57

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

SteveL
5 / 5 (6) Oct 04, 2011
As long as there are sufficient but survivable pressures on a life form change should be expected.

In that remote island town community religion could have been one of those pressures when considering the age of conception, though I don't see proof of evolutionary change.
Neophile
3.5 / 5 (8) Oct 04, 2011
Queue Kevin in 3...2...1...
kaasinees
2.1 / 5 (9) Oct 04, 2011
evolution never stops, even chemistry and physics undergo evolution. If it is true that the universe expands etc.
hush1
2 / 5 (4) Oct 04, 2011
The literature is vast. I only grasp that the change is random(genetic drift/draft) and nonrandom(natural selection) and that knowing the percentage of both are of help to researchers.
Robert_Wells
1 / 5 (6) Oct 04, 2011
Study shows humans still evolving


this should be nominated for an Ig Nobel Prize
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (8) Oct 04, 2011
A friend of mine was recently diagnosed with gluten intolerance, and through that experience I learned a bit about this malady.

Turns out a large chunk of the population suffers from this problem, and it can lead to a whole range of autoimmune disorders (like lupus and diabetes) later in life. That's an example of a human-induced environmental factor exerting powerful selective pressure today: there was no issue with gluten intolerance until agriculture became wide-spread and human diets changed toward heavy dependence on cereals and processed grain such as bread and pasta. Just like with lactose intolerance, gluten intolerance puts people who exhibit this ancestral trait at a selective disadvantage.

In addition to "natural" adaptations like Tibetan high-altitude tolerance or African sickle cell trait, we drive our own evolution by changing the very environment in which we live.
Roland
not rated yet Oct 04, 2011
It is well known that evolutionary change occurs fastest in isolated populations like on the Galopagos. So they find it in an population on an island in Quebec, and in Tibet which has been isolated for centuries. But these changes are being swamped by the mixing that's going on now. Human populations today are anything but isolated.
grosyhpgrosyhpgrosyhp
not rated yet Oct 04, 2011
No surprise at all. We still have DNA, mutations and selective pressure.

@Robert_Wells:
No, it shouldn't. Oblivious results for educated man bad science.
jsa09
5 / 5 (3) Oct 04, 2011
Of course evolution in man is an ongoing process. Because of urbanisation, processed foods, extra leasure etc we will probably slowly evolve into couch potatoes.

This study does not in my mind indicate evolution however. Although given time changed habits may become evolutionary changes it still appears at this stage that changes in first birth dates could be more down to environmental factors than evolutionary factors.
Astricus
1 / 5 (4) Oct 04, 2011
What an ignorant article..
We are a complex system that is constantly adapting to its environment. Adaptations are rapid and happen within one generation to the next. If adaptations were slow and random we would not be here. Another "Cornflake Crunch" study.. a waste of time and effort.
nanotech_republika_pl
2.8 / 5 (4) Oct 04, 2011
Genetic changes in 140 year?! More like epigenetic changes in such a short time.
Sean_W
2 / 5 (4) Oct 04, 2011
Many aspects of human nature are maladapted to urban living and modern society. The milestone of over half of us live in some sort of urban environment highlights the increase in sellective pressures for traits which don't get one killed, incarcerated or driven mad (all of which decrease reproductive success, on average).

Other traits that might increase in modern populations would include ability to deal with both accute and chronic exposure to toxins and better immune systems due to greater exposure to more pathogens. Surviving extended periods after massive injuries would not have been that beneficial to our ancestors but if that survival ability can get ppl to an E.R. it would suddenly be a more beneficial trait.
Deesky
4.3 / 5 (8) Oct 04, 2011
Genetic changes in 140 year?! More like epigenetic changes in such a short time.

I doubt it. Epigenetic changes aren't long lasting due to the limited stability of DNA methylation, which also means that altered DNA methylation often cannot become subject to natural selection.
Shakescene21
4.1 / 5 (9) Oct 04, 2011
This article doesn't present any evidence that genetic variations had any bearing on why the average age of first birth dropped from 26 to 22. Cultural changes in this small population could easily explain the earlier child-bearing that occurred. If they had identifed a gene or some other inherited trait that might have caused earlier child-bearing, then they might be able to test their theory, but they apparently played statistical games based on questionable assumptions.
Ethelred
3.4 / 5 (10) Oct 05, 2011
I rewrote this a bit after looking at the abstract. I added some weasel words and questions about who was responsible for the crappy parts.

Looking at cultural, social and economic differences in the women, the researchers were able to determine that 30 to 50 percent of this variation in age was explained solely by genetic variations.
Without a GENETIC test they are speculating no matter how good the rest of the study might have been.

researchers believe that a genetic change occurred in order to provide more time for women to produce a larger number of children in order to grow the population.
That is something that people that don't understand anything about evolution might say. Change comes in response to the environment. IF having children earlier is successful then it would be genetically conserved BUT since women are fully capable already of having children MUCH earlier there is NO reason to assume a genetic change was involved when behavior covers it completely.>
Ethelred
2.6 / 5 (5) Oct 05, 2011
The question in my mind did that silly statement reflect the study or the author of this article? Nothing in the abstract supports the statement.

they believe possible reasons could have been a change in the age in which the women hit puberty
Handwaving UNLESS the studied who had the most children. With a full tree of descent. Age of puberty was not involved in this since it occurs long before 22 or 27. The abstract doesn't give me a clue on this but someone clearly doesn't understand the evolutionary process. The article author or the scientists?

need for a higher number of children in order for gene lines to survive into the future.
Which is not something that evolutionary processes can manage. Only someone without a clue that evolution has no plan and is just a process would make such an unrealistic claim. Same weasel words as above. SWWAA.>>
Ethelred
2.6 / 5 (5) Oct 05, 2011
This is not the first study to show that human evolution is still happening.
Good since it does no such thing. Its really bad science as written. Send the authors here where they can debate this crappy paper and learn how evolution works. There conclusions that evolution occurred COULD be right but only by accident and ONLY that part of the conclusions. Any part that even remotely implied intent to prepare for the future by a non-conscious process that can only deal with the present is utterly wrong. Yes SWWAA.

his study shows that while these factors do play a role, genetic changes and evolution are also still very much a part.
Unfortunately it did no such thing. They may have been able to do so IF they did the work AND checked the genetics or at least tracked the fertility rate for all the women by actual familial descent but I can't tell from the article or the abstract.>>
Ethelred
2.3 / 5 (6) Oct 05, 2011
Now it is possible that the PAPER as opposed to this crappy article is vastly superior and does have the work and evidence needed. But I am not going to pay to see it.

However I think that nanotech_republika_pl may actually be correct this time. Epigenetic effects could cover any biological adaptation that may have occurred. They are not inheritable though so I suspect that culture and economics caused almost all if not all the change.

Since this is a Physorg article I would appreciate it if the writer was willing to clear this up. I would be stunned as well since Physorg sometimes seems to be unwilling to even acknowledge that there are people commenting here beyond that idiotic 'brevity is somehow witty' remark which they clearly did not understand in the first place.

Ethelred
Dave57
1.1 / 5 (8) Oct 05, 2011
Tibetans - or any other ethnic or sub-cultural group, for that matter - CANNOT "evolutionary change to adapt" to the lower oxygen levels. They either adapt to specific locations and/or conditions, or do not. Evolutionary changes are so slow that they would take tens, if not hundreds of thousands of years, as the history of mankind tells us. Anthropologists know this. Please do not confuse or connect adaptation with evolution.
bluehigh
1 / 5 (4) Oct 05, 2011
Since this is a Physorg article I would appreciate it ... etc

- Ethelred

Another series of outstanding comments from you, Ethelred. Keep in mind that the less experienced article writers may not have your experience and insight. Theres plenty of crap they sift through, doing the best they can and need to produce some copy for publication. I am sure the writers read the comments and from (mostly) well reasoned comments, like yours, learn.

Attack the article content by all means but give the writers a break.

Ethelred
2.6 / 5 (5) Oct 05, 2011
. Evolutionary changes are so slow that they would take tens, if not hundreds of thousands of years,
There is nothing making it take that long for high altitude adaptation. Modern, even counting Archaic Modern, Humans are not hundreds of thousands of years old so all the variants took place in less time then that.

Thousands of years seems to be more than enough. Humans have adapted to the high mountains in South America in what seems to be at most 10,000 years. Evolution does not always creep along. One hundred generations is just 2000 or so years.

Look at how much change has been forced on dogs or pigeons since the Brits started breeding them.

Anthropologists know this.
I admit that Stephen J. Gould doesn't know anything anymore due to being dead and not having been an Anthropologist in the first place but he and many others would disagree with that statement given the opportunity.

Ethelred
Ethelred
1.8 / 5 (5) Oct 05, 2011
Attack the article content by all means but give the writers a break.
At first I thought the science might have been complete crap. Then when I looked at the abstract I thought that maybe, just maybe, the science might have been done at least half right.

A LOT of articles here do this sort thing. A bit more care in word choices would help a lot. I was actually hoping, yes really, that the author would clear it up a bit. Unfortunately I can't recall a single such case where the author ever replied to any comments. Some of the scientists have. Some have even been reasonable.

Physorg consistently refrains from consorting with the readers in anyway except to anonymously delete posts or ban people. They almost never explain. The last time the communicated in a way that implied they were aware that humans actually read the site was when they put the 1000 character in.

I am trying to convince them to CHANGE that execrable behavior.

Ethelred
bluehigh
1 / 5 (4) Oct 05, 2011
Yeah. Perhaps instead of just removing the advertising for 'paid' subscribers they could offer more interaction with the Physorg writers or even welcome guest contributions from subscribers. I guess that Physorg need to be careful after the New Scientist experience where visitors and advertising revenue fell sharply after paywall/subscriber only restrictions (incl comment) were implemented. In the meanwhile, sadly, we are just numbers and clicks. Its like, think ourselves lucky that comment is free .. so far.

Dave57
1.4 / 5 (8) Oct 05, 2011
"Humans have ADAPTED (my caps for emphasis) to the high mountains in South America in what seems to be at most 10,000 years. Evolution does not always creep along. One hundred generations is just 2000 or so years." - Ethelred

You have stated what I warned against: confusing adaptation with evolution. Adaptation, even selective genetic adaptation, does not creep along, no, but evolution always will. But if you are correct, then perhaps you can enlighten me: What have deep-breathing Tibetans evolved to become?

Looked at another way, multiple generations of almost any ethnic sub-group, all with unique traits of their own, could perhaps adapt as well as Tibetans to high altitude, given time. But evolutionarily, they are, and always will remain identical to us, homo sapiens, genus: homo, Family of Man.
julianpenrod
1.6 / 5 (7) Oct 05, 2011
Among other things, why use a proxy for the age of menstruation? They could get enough records to verify directly if that aspect has changed over time. For that matter, if the age of first menstruation has changed, how does it compare with that of women not in such difficult surroudings, requiring starting families early? That doesn't seem to be mentioned. And, for the most part, even in the 1700's, most girls began menstruation before age 15. If conditions were so severe in Ile de Coudres, they would start having children as early as possible, as young as 17! In the Ozarks, where farming conditions are much less severe than Canada, the joke is of marriage as early as 16! During the days when farming was supposedly as difficult as it was in the 1700's, what led them in the first place to have first children as late as 26? And agricultural techniques have actually made farming simpler since the 1700's! Why did the decrease continue even to as late as 1940?
julianpenrod
1.6 / 5 (7) Oct 05, 2011
And, for that matter, human intelligence and such things as cities are supposed to stand between humans and the forces of nature that inspire evolutuionary changes! We manage to undo the threats and forces that, in animals and plants, supposedly cause change within the creature itself to adapt! And, it should be remembered, evolutuion is supposed to be blind. It doesn't look at the situation and say, "I will cause the creatures to change in this specific way to eet this specific need". In general, large amounts of offspring are intended to decrease the effects of predation, not to provide for a larger work force! Evolution wouldn't say, "These people need more people to work this farm, so I will cause the women to have children earlier". And, for that matter, why did the "researchers" stop their examination at 1940? Why didn't they continue it to the present day?
Ethelred
3.6 / 5 (11) Oct 05, 2011
You have stated what I warned against: confusing adaptation with evolution
Warn all you want. If the adaptation was at the DNA level, which is the case, then it is evolution.

Adaptation, even selective genetic adaptation, does not creep along, no, but evolution always will.
They are the same thing. You aren't kidding anyone here.

What have deep-breathing Tibetans evolved to become?
Humans with high altitude adaptations. Evolution is not just a change in KIND. Yes I know where you are coming from. Fundamentalism. You are not the first to try to change English and science to fit your religious needs.

But evolutionarily, they are, and always will remain identical to us, homo sapiens, genus: homo, Family of Man.
Adaptation IS evolution and the only reason for evasions like this is to support a belief in Genesis.

So when was the Flood? Where is ANY REAL physical for it.

Ethelred
Ethelred
2 / 5 (4) Oct 05, 2011
what led them in the first place to have first children as late as 26?
Economics is one possible cause. It seems to have the reason that same thing happened in Ireland.

cities are supposed to stand between humans and the forces of nature that inspire evolutionary changes!
Cities have driven human evolution by being a great way to die due to disease. This isn't an obvious sort of evolution until you like at what happened when city adapted Europeans brought diseases to the New World.

Ethelred
PinkElephant
4 / 5 (4) Oct 05, 2011
@Dave57,
What have deep-breathing Tibetans evolved to become?
They have multiple genetic changes that guard them against the serious and sometimes life-threatening chronic mountain sickness (CMS) which develops in 'normal' people who stay at high elevations for prolonged time periods.
evolutionarily, they are, and always will remain identical to us, homo sapiens
Only given interbreeding with other populations. In populations that are segregated for too long, the genetic differences accumulate over time until interbreeding no longer produces viable offspring (and thus a new species has been formed.)

@Ethelred,
when city adapted Europeans brought diseases to the New World
Not so much city-adapted as agriculture- and livestock-adapted. There is a lot of inter-species pathogen hopping between humans and livestock, and those human lineages that have dwelt for a long time alongside livestock have evolved various forms of disease resistance and immunity as a consequence.
Dave57
1.4 / 5 (7) Oct 05, 2011
Ethelred.
Wow, "religious needs" and "fundamentalism"? Really? Okay, now I give up. Why let facts get in the way when arguments can be made with non-sequiturs.
hush1
1 / 5 (4) Oct 05, 2011
An impressive thread. Here is the supporting information:
http://www.pnas.o...10SI.pdf

And here a fast, unqualified take from a physicist:
http://infoproc.b...bec.html

And here an OT special treat for Ethelred or others:
http://iopscience...1/115001
This is the only handle and approach I have to grasp the large and small of physics. Click on "download abstract video" also.
It is the only indemnification for the loss of time Ethelred has spend on the word "spactime" that makes sense to me.

Yes Bluehigh. Outstanding comments deserve such attention.
Deesky
4.5 / 5 (8) Oct 05, 2011
Why let facts get in the way when arguments can be made with non-sequiturs.

You mean like what you have done?

...confusing adaptation with evolution. Adaptation, even selective genetic adaptation, does not creep along, no, but evolution always will

So where are these 'facts' of yours that support that ridiculous assertion? How about I give you a real fact?

Even small changes in the HOX genes can lead to drastic changes, such as where the head goes and which regions of the body grow appendages. These genes are master controllers of other genes and help to direct the building of body units, such as segments, limbs, and eyes.

So evolving a major change in basic body layout can happen literally in a single generation. I would not call that 'creeping along'.

But evolutionarily, they are, and always will remain identical to us

You realize that as a species, there are enormous genetic differences between individuals? We're not just a single, monolithic group.
Ethelred
2.6 / 5 (5) Oct 06, 2011
I have seen posts exactly like yours before. They always come from Creationists.

Evolution is genetic adaptation. It is NOT limited to speciation.

There were no non-sequiturs in my post. It was all relevant.

So how about you start using facts instead of nonsense?

Anytime you want to engage in an actual discussion feel free to start. You can start by giving us a clue as to you think that genetic change is not evolution.

Ethelred
DavidMcC
5 / 5 (1) Oct 06, 2011
What an ignorant article..
We are a complex system that is constantly adapting to its environment. Adaptations are rapid and happen within one generation to the next. If adaptations were slow and random we would not be here. Another "Cornflake Crunch" study.. a waste of time and effort.


Nonsense! Evolutionary adaptations are slow and non-random - it is only the mutations and other genomic changes that are random. The selection that brings about adaptation isn't random.
OverweightAmerican
1.3 / 5 (13) Oct 09, 2011
All of these arguments are invalid. The bible says that God created man and that he never has changed. Therefore it is completely impossible that humans can evolve. If measurements detect a change it's because they weren't analysed properly in the first place.
Ethelred
2 / 5 (4) Oct 09, 2011
All of these arguments are invalid.
No.

he bible says that God created man and that he never has changed.
Fundamentalist Dogbert disagrees with you. Of course his logic is more than a bit strained but it is based on Genesis.

AND why do you believe that when the world and the Bible do not agree. I go on the world. You seem to want to go on the writing of ignorant men. If a god was responsible for the Bible why is Genesis pretty completely wrong?

Therefore it is completely impossible that humans can evolve.
Yet we have. Mutations happen. Natural selection happens thus evolution happens. The only evolution cannot occur is for a god to interfere with each persons life to both stop mutation and selection. Since humans DO have mutations and we DO die then no god is interfering.>>
Ethelred
2 / 5 (4) Oct 09, 2011
it's because they weren't analysed properly in the first place.
Or a few people wrote a book that has a lot of errors in it. Considering how ignorant they were I will go on the authors of the Bible being the source of the errors. And ignorant modern people for the continued claim that the Bible is the word of a perfect god.

Now why do you believe that? Please explain and it would be really good if you produce some REAL evidence, that can be checked, that might convince others that your beliefs reflect reality instead of being the fantasy they appear to be.

Also I think it is pretty clear that Dave57 has scarpered off. Thus strongly implying that I nailed it. He was almost certainly engaging in stealth Creationism.

OverweightAmerican , you have far more guts than he does.

Ethelred
SteveL
not rated yet Oct 09, 2011
"OverweightAmerican , you have far more guts than he does.

Ethelred" Multiple meanings - humorous.

I'm no God basher, nor am I a follower. If there is a God creator then we are as far beneath its notice as It is above ours. We travel in different circles... If you have religion, which to me is less about God and more about man, that's fine for you. Just stay out of my face and out of my way and we'll get along fine. When It comes to religon on a science site, I think "Don't ask, don't tell" could be an appropriate policy.

As for Dave57, he does not seem to be a fundementalist evolution denier. After all he did state: "Evolution does not always creep along." and "Adaptation, even selective genetic adaptation, does not creep along, no, but evolution always will." Obviously he's not denying evolution. From my perspective he was simply arguing the use of the definitions. But the funny part was that he even argued against himself with opposing statements in the same post
godistruth
1 / 5 (5) Oct 09, 2011
The reality is that we are now developing a society of two distinct species of human, one with natural health and common sense in tact, the other dumbded down and technologically plugged into gadgetry. I know which category will survive.
gentlesactap
5 / 5 (1) Oct 09, 2011
Breaking News from Emmanuel Milot's latest study:

Precipitation continues to fall from the sky. This "Rain" still used by plants to grow.
knikiy
not rated yet Oct 09, 2011
I wonder how and if they were able to account for factors such as a longer "working day" due to the advent of artificial lighting, which has been shown to affect the age of menarche?
CHollman82
1 / 5 (4) Oct 09, 2011
Really? Humans aren't in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium? No Shit!

I swear, some of these "studies" that physorg reports are just ridiculous. Anyone that knows anything about evolution knows that humans are of course still evolving and likely will be for the foreseeable future.
CHollman82
1.8 / 5 (5) Oct 09, 2011
Dave57 simply does not understand what biological evolution is.

He seems to asserting that evolution is equivalent to speciation, which is ridiculous, as speciation is a RESULT of evolution. Any change in an allele frequency in a population is an example of evolution.
CHollman82
1 / 5 (4) Oct 09, 2011
What is happening to humans though is the merging of populations with the constant advent of new transportation technologies allowing reasonable opportunity for individuals to bridge large geographical gaps to reach one another (and breed!).

It's difficult to predict how this will affect us as a species considering the remarkable rate of technological advancements and social changes, but if all things remained constant it wouldn't be long (a few hundred generations, a few thousand years) before you wouldn't be able to tell an Asian from a European from an African simply by looking at them. These genetic differences in appearance developed while the individuals were split into separate populations by insurmountable geographic barriers (oceans, namely). We have since bridged these barriers and allowed individuals to flow freely between these populations.
Ethelred
2 / 5 (4) Oct 10, 2011
Ethelred" Multiple meanings - humorous.
Sorry but it had to be said with or without the name based irony.

and "Adaptation, even selective genetic adaptation, does not creep along, no, but evolution always will."
That is a now standard attempt to replace the Evil of Evolution with tolerated adaptation. See Answers in Genesis for the acceptance of adaptation being unavoidable even by Kent Hamm.

Obviously he's not denying evolution.
No its not obvious. He is trying to replace it with adaptation. Now if he actually replies and says evolution and speciation occur THEN and only then will I have a reason to agree.

But the funny part was that he even argued against himself with opposing statements in the same post
That is likely due to his not liking adaptation either.

We can't know what Dave57 REALLY means until he quits playing around and gets to the point. Please look at how long Dogbert has tried to evade telling us what he really thinks.

Ethelred
SteveL
not rated yet Oct 11, 2011
"We can't know what Dave57 REALLY means until he quits playing around and gets to the point. Please look at how long Dogbert has tried to evade telling us what he really thinks.

Ethelred"

There is a glimmer of hope. Those who hesitate and have difficulty explaining their opinions usually have doubts. Those with certainty don't hesitate. When there is doubt there is room for change.
HenisDov
1 / 5 (4) Oct 19, 2011
On Bigger Human Brain, Horse And Wagon

A.
Change during human evolution could have led to bigger brains.
http://www.scienc...a_smarts
New Genes, New Brain
http://the-scient...w-brain/

B.
On Culture And Genetics, Horses And Wagon
http://universe-life.com/2011/08/26/on-culture-and-genetics-horses-and-wagon/" title="http://http://universe-life.com/2011/08/26/on-culture-and-genetics-horses-and-wagon/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://universe-l...d-wagon/
If you saw it once, you saw it a million times: its the horses pulling, not the wagon pushing !

C.
Enough with the AAAS trade-union mandated science peer-review ignorance. Its culture that modifies genetics, not genetics that modifies culture.

Dov Henis (comments from 22nd century)
http://universe-life.com/
Mas_Hamad
not rated yet Oct 28, 2011
Human civilization or human body is still evolving? Human civilization started 6000 years ago with Sumerian alphabet till now computer millenium, was it categorized in Darwin evolution theory? It is clearly revolution if we compare tiny figure of 6000 yrs with 2 million homo-erectus evolution. Simply our consciousness is now connecting like networked computer but we still don't know where is the unseen server. Can we download our brain image/video to electronic media someday?
Ethelred
1 / 5 (3) Oct 29, 2011
Human civilization started 6000 years ago with Sumerian alphabet
No. It started with the first cities. By definition civilization is about cities. So 10,000 is closer to correct.

was it categorized in Darwin evolution theory?
Why would it? Darwin's theory is about Natural Selection of organisms and it is not about cultures.

t is clearly revolution if we compare tiny figure of 6000 yrs with 2 million homo-erectus evolution.
Also wrong. Homo Sapiens have been around for least 150,000 years. Still shorter then Homo Erectus but MUCH longer then 6,000. This fixation with 6000 is kind of suspicious because it isn't even right about the Sumerians as that is 5,000. 6000 is a favorite of Biblical literalists.>>
Ethelred
2 / 5 (4) Oct 29, 2011
networked computer but we still don't know where is the unseen server.
Why do you think there is some sort of server? Its a peer to peer network. Does this go with that 6000 number?

Can we download our brain image/video to electronic media someday?
Maybe someday, maybe the brain will need extensive biological and nanotech modification first.

Ethelred
SteveL
not rated yet Nov 01, 2011
Human civilization started 6000 years ago with Sumerian alphabet
No. It started with the first cities. By definition civilization is about cities. So 10,000 is closer to correct.
That we know of. Just because we haven't found older cities doesn't mean they didn't exist. When you consider how incredibly robust the physical evidence has been of these ancient cities, and when you consider possibly how long it took for these civilizations to develop their construction skills I can't help but think it's not out of order to assume civilizations had to exist quite a while before the evidence we have found.
Most of our modern cities wouldn't last very long left to Mother nature's gentle hand - don't we exist?
Ethelred
2 / 5 (4) Nov 01, 2011
When you consider how incredibly robust the physical evidence has been of these ancient cities
The fantasies about much older are certainly robust.

I can't help but think it's not out of order to assume civilizations had to exist quite a while before the evidence we have found.
I have seen no evidence that supports that. Despite having seen the claim many times. The earliest cities have all been quite small. More like small towns.

Most of our modern cities wouldn't last very long left to Mother nature's gentle hand
The evidence would last many thousands of years.

So far Mas_Hamad has made just that one post. Highly indicative of that post being a religious hit and run. Might even be an extremely rare Islamic religious post.

So then Steve, do you have any links to the alleged physical evidence. It has always been wishful so far but you have something better. It isn't impossible.

Ethelred
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (2) Nov 01, 2011
Cities did not have a basis for existing prior to development of agriculture. Only with emergence of agriculture and livestock, did some people begin to be tied to a plot of land on a permanent basis, building up permanent structures on that land, and lastly producing more food than they could consume themselves -- thereby creating the underlying supply/demand dynamic leading to formation of markets, which in turn lead to systematization and centralization of trade (bazaars and trade caravans) and the emergence of a prominent merchant class.

The emergence of agriculture is dated roughly to somewhere within the last 10,000 years; ditto for domestication of livestock.

Never mind lack of archeological evidence: there is not even any theoretical ground for expecting any cities pre-dating those technological innovations. Prior to those inventions, human tribes were nomadic hunter-gatherers, and all of their construction was most likely along the lines of teepees/yurts/wigwams.
SteveL
1 / 5 (1) Nov 03, 2011
The point is we simply don't know, mainly because nature eventually erased any record or we simply havent found older evidence. To presume something didn't exist simply because we haven't found it seems a bit inane to me.

Our history is replete with discoveries, which would imply that at any point in time there is much more to learn. Just to be clear: of what has been done or created over the many thousands of years, I give all credit to humanity, not some fanciful ancient god or astronaut.

Some civilization seems to have basically covered the globe (some think it was the east Africans 50,000 to 70,000 years ago) encouraging the building of pyramids - a wholly un-needed expenditure of energy that provided no known functional purpose. So, why would these appear all over?

What do I know? Not enough, obviously. But I would not support the concept that if we haven't found evidence, it never existed. That would be like believing that if you can't see germs they are harmless.
Ethelred
2 / 5 (4) Nov 03, 2011
This is longer than the subject deserves

To presume something didn't exist simply because we haven't found it seems a bit inane to me
To presume something exists without evidence or reason is silly at best

Some civilization seems to have basically covered the globe
What evidence supports that? I ask because all I have seen so far is utter crap based on the Atlantis nonsense. And because I asked you already and -- nothing.

some think it was the east Africans 50,000 to 70,000 years ago
Otto thinks we have Secret Masters. He has exactly as much evidence. Whatever he can make up.

encouraging the building of pyramids
Nonsense. We know when they were built and wasn't tens of thousands of years ago.

a wholly un-needed expenditure of energy that provided no known functional purpose
They felt they needed it. Funeral and religious monuments exist throughout the world. We know EXACTLY what the Aztecs used them for. They cut out hearts on the alters at the top.>>
Ethelred
2 / 5 (4) Nov 03, 2011
But I don't

So, why would these appear all over?
They don't. I assume you are referring mainly the pyramids in the New World. Large monuments are EASY to build that way is why. The ones in the New World were built and rebuilt over many generations with the older version as the foundation for the new. They built many if not all of them for religion. There is nothing magical or fantastic about any of them. They are the easiest big building to make. A large square for instance would burst its its walls. That is why the Gothic cathedrals have those buttresses.

A pyramid is nothing but a pile of rocks at the angle of repose. The only tricky part was the inner passages in the Egyptian pyramids and they had lots of time figure it out.

What do I know? Not enough, obviously.
I was going to say something smart assed but the fact is no one knows enough except for idiots like Kevin. He thinks he knows enough is outraged that anyone would want to know anything outside the Bible.>>
Ethelred
2 / 5 (4) Nov 03, 2011
want to waste time making it shorter.

But I would not support the concept that if we haven't found evidence, it never existed
I don't see why you would suppose that something might have existed when all you have is bullshit people made up without a shred of evidence.

That would be like believing that if you can't see germs they are harmless.
There is evidence for them killing. There is NO evidence to support the concept of an ancient civilization.

Its a bunch nonsense made up by charlatans and the gullible based on ONE story that Plato claimed he heard as a child and Plato didn't even bother to finish the story. From that one unfinished story, which may have been inspired by Crete, Edgar Cayce The Not-Really Sleeping Fraud and his chief follower produced vast amounts of purest bullshit. His chief follower was a ludicrously stereotypical gypsy con-artist so over the top it is nearly impossible to write about her without looking like a bigot towards the Rom.

Ethelred