Are humans now de-evolving?

14 June 2009

Question

Are humans now de-evolving?

Answer

Chris - What he means by that is we keep giving people caesarean sections to help get babies out does this mean that we're evolving so that women get a narrower and narrower pelves so that in the future they won't gonna have babies normally. Kat - It's an interesting one. There's no such term really as de-evolving because we're all constantly evolving. Humans are changing in result of environmental pressures that are on us. I guess, many, many, many thousands of years if we do carry on medicalising humans so that we don't die of conditions caused by our biology then we might evolve to kind of get round them. For example, I'm not sure about if there is evidence that our appendix is vanishing gradually or not because that's a common cause of illness. I don't think we really have enough time to tell how the impact of modern medicine which only been around for about a hundred years or so is actually affecting our evolution. Chris Smith - Undoubtedly, there will be an effect because of course fewer people would die, who would have died otherwise. So, evolution may run more slowly. It may be that we evolve in a different way. One of the pressures has been removed but there are new pressures we have to compensate for the fact that we take less exercise. Actually, we eat more and perhaps not as good for us.Kat - We're constantly evolving. It would be interesting to see how it goes.

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