Re: Are We Still Evolving?
Tue, 21 Nov 1995 06:38:38 GMT

Julian Treadwell <> wrote:

>VINCENT@REG.TRIUMF.CA (pete) wrote:
>>Julian Treadwell ( sez:
>>` (Kaushik Banerjee) wrote:
>>`>Are we still evolving? Since we put stress on our
>>`>environment, rather than vice versa, are we still evolving?
>>`Because of genetic phenomena such as genetic drift, recombination and
>>`mutation, evolution is not a process which could ever actually stop. And
>>`of course breeding selection hasn't stopped either, even if it's no
>>`longer so much due to 'natural' pressures.
>>What breeding selection there still exists must be fairly minimal.
>>Someone here claimed that they had a figure that 34% of affluent
>>white females (I think that was in the us) didn't get around to
>>breeding, but in my experience, just about every person who survives
>>to adulthood, and is physically capable, or can be made so by
>>medical intervention, except the very few who chose monastic life, and
>>a subset of the homosexual population, manages to breed. And few of
>>them have more than three children, regardless of how desirable
>>they are. Thus in the general population I see almost no
>>differential reproduction. As far as the 34% figure mentioned above,
>>I'd want to see the research. I simply don't believe it.
>I don't think I believe it either. But I think it's still true that
>race, socioeconomic class and other factors which are either wholly or
>partially inherited traits influence the number of children we have, even
>though, as you say, we nearly all have at least one. If I'm right that
>surely qualifies as selective breeding; I'd love to see some figures on
>this, if anybody has any.

I hope I,m not off track here but as a curious lay person I wondered
if it is valid that evolution must be in response to "natural"
pressures. What prompts this is my understanding that the atrophy of
the appendix is a result of mans' ability to improve the quality of
his food. This would seem to be a case of man unknowingly impacting
his own evolution and followed to conclusion would lead me to believe
that the process is continuing with equally unknown prospects.Is there
something that I.m missing? Thanks