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The Human Climax? Expert Says Evolution Is Over

One evolutionary expert believes that the human race has stopped evolving. Modern life may have led to the extinction of natural selection. Here are some explanations for why we could be stuck with what we got:

  • Technological and medical advances mean it's not just the fittest who get to pass on genes.
  • World travel has helped homogenize the gene pool. While small gene pools can evolve quickly, a global pool prevents evolutionary change.
  • On average, men have had babies at a younger age recently. The gene copies of younger fathers are less likely to contain mutations.

As you can imagine the end of evolution could bring wide, albeit delayed, consequences. Gorillas and chimps could catch up to us (we'd probably have to let them out of the zoos), and medical science won't get any help from nature in cutting down the number of diseases to combat. Perhaps technology will help humans take stalled evolution into our own hands, by letting us choose the genes we like.


Join The Conversation
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
I wouldn't say we've stopped evolving completely. And I agree with a few of you, there are plenty of nasty bacteria and viruses in this world waiting to take us out. Humans need to evolve to combat them. But we like quick answers to our problems, so we'll spend tons of money on preventive medicine!
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
Actually I take that back. There is a whole group of people that has a gene that causes them to walk through red lights while texting. Hopefully those people will be eliminated over the course of a few generations.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
Man I must have missed something interesting on this one. All you have to do is walk around and interact with people in DC for one day and you will come to the conclusion that humans have stopped evolving.
em1282 em1282 8 years
"Humans DID NOT come from chimps. They are not "lesser evolved" humans, we simply share a common ancestor." THANK YOU! I too am tired of people misconstruing the mechanisms behind evolution.
aanyanka aanyanka 8 years
I agree with hithatsmybike - the "gorillas and chimps could catch up to us" statement is ridiculous. We share a common ancester and are not on the same evolutionary path. I find it frustrating that there are people who still think that scientists believe humans evolved from "gorillas and chimps". It's simply not true.
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 8 years
For Organic: Fond regards, Harmony
hithatsmybike hithatsmybike 8 years
Gorillas & chimps could "catch up to us"? wow EPIC FAIL at science. Humans DID NOT come from chimps. They are not "lesser evolved" humans, we simply share a common ancestor. Saying otherwise is a step back to the 19th century.. but even Darwin didn't believe such ridiculousness. No humans are not evolving anymore. But soon the AIDS epidemic will get out of hand or something equally atrocious and it'll knock out enough of the population so we will again. Evolve or die!
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
UnDave by the time that happens you and I will be ashes to ashes and dust to dust.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
I hope that this isn't the end for us. I'd like to believe that the best is yet to come.
Mykie7 Mykie7 8 years
Thanks guys, I appreciate it. The more I thought about it, the worse I felt.
ladyr ladyr 8 years
Bummer. I was hoping we would eventually evolve to the point where we wouldn't have to shave our legs, armpits, etc. anymore. I think it is still a definite possibility :)
estrelas estrelas 8 years
Hey Mykie, it's cool. It was an honest mistake, and everybody makes those! Don't worry too much about it.
JessicaLE JessicaLE 8 years
Eh. No biggy. =) Let's move on.
Mykie7 Mykie7 8 years
And it was just brought to my attention that "monkey" can be taken as a racial slur. I honestly have never EVER heard that, and when I said it was referring spefically to an actual primate, nothing else. Oh man, I really stepped in it and I am sooooo sorry everyone.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
Well given the nature at play I think stopped is an exaggeration change is an integral part of life and life doesn't stop even if the change is only happening on a molecular level. However the presence of daily challenges we would otherwise face with out modern conveniences would present the necessary challenges to spurn evolution in a more obvious manner. Reason would have it that under the circumstances evolution has slowed way way down for modern humans but I'm just not so sure I would say stopped.
Mykie7 Mykie7 8 years
I want to apologize to everyone that read that comment. I have a very twisted sense of humor, and while I personally saw nothing wrong with that, I understand that some of you did. I will keep my opinions on the mans looks to myself. His policies, now that's another story.
Mykie7 Mykie7 8 years
Holy smokes! It was a joke people! I never realized that how I think someone looks is offensive! Guess I shouldn't tell my husband he's got monkey hair in the morning any more.
estrelas estrelas 8 years
lol...sounds to me like you got what I trying to say :)
stephley stephley 8 years
Thank you for clarifying. I think I get what you're saying (I'm hearing short-sighted and chauvinistic) and though I could never articulate it, that sounds fair (if that's what you mean).
JessicaLE JessicaLE 8 years
WOW- gutsie folks!
estrelas estrelas 8 years
I know that monkey comment was a joke, but I do take offense to that! Let's leave simians (excluding humans, of course) out of the debates thanks ;)
estrelas estrelas 8 years
Stephley, sorry, perhaps I should clarify that. The article seems to be written out of a framework of evolutionary determinism that I find, quite frankly, to be a very dangerous position. for example, the article is suggesting that there is an overarching aspect to 'human evolution', if you will, while ignoring broad ranges of possible identities and outcomes. It also is discriminatory against other species by suggesting that they are on the same 'trajectory' as us, implying some sort of unilineal evolution.
organicsugr organicsugr 8 years
Show a little respect Michelin. It's the Tortoise.
Michelann Michelann 8 years
Election '08! The Turtle vs. Elmer Fudd!
organicsugr organicsugr 8 years
I think he looks kind of like a bird. Perhaps an eagle? I like eagles. Maybe a turtle. I can't stand turtles.
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