It’s a common argument of the know-it-all teen, fresh from an introductory biology course: “Life is so cushy now,” he might say, “People aren’t even evolving anymore.” As the argument goes, most people live a decently long life and have a chance to pass on their genes, since we aren’t so often being gobbled up by lions or succumbing to now-curable diseases. With this comes a dampening on the forces of natural selection, and a stagnation, or even weakening, of the human species.

But the truth, it seems, couldn’t be more different. Over the past 5 to 10 thousand years, says Nature, reporting on a new study, the genetic diversity in the human population has exploded, a bloom that serves as stage one in the process of evolution.

Read more at Smithsonian.

Published On: November 29, 2012

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