The end of human evolution?

Have we reached the end of human evolution?

For a start it would be good to recap how evolution works. Let’s say that a lion gives birth to 3 cubs and out of these 3, the first one has only 3 legs, the second one is a normal lion and the third one is faster than a normal lion. Which of these three has a better chance of surviving? The first one will surely die young coz he won’t be able to hunt. the second one will live a normal life while the third one will be able to eat better food and live longer. Living longer will also mean more offsprings (dying young means less or no offsprings) and so the third lion will pass on its athletic genes to its offspring, the new generation. This new generation will then eat the food of the normal lions and these too will die and we’ll only have the faster lions left. In this way, evolution has produced faster lions, lions fitter to survive.

We currently live in a society where being fitter or smarter doesn’t guarantee us to have more children than others and where being “unfit” doesn’t mean that we’re gonna die early and have no children. With health care and social security, even those who are weaker than others live a normal life and basically that’s what differentiates us from animals.

So what does that mean? It would seem to me that the process of natural selection is over. If tomorrow someone is born with a super regenerative ability like Wolverine in X-men, that person will pass his/her genes to his/her children (he’s not going to have more children than “normal” folks like us) but that would not prove to be a substantial advantage over those who are “normal”; his offspring will not take over the world. Similarly, if someone is born with only one arm, he’s not going to have fewer offsprings or die younger.

So have we put a stop to evolution? Personally, I think we have done so.


2 responses to “The end of human evolution?

  1. unless the one with that special gene has the real intention of taking of the world and make a real effort to have a lot more offspring than other normal people out-of-the-normal-way….Perhaps animals are less ambitious than humans…they won’t be thinking about taking over the world (well we can’t know for sure though)…

  2. Natural evolution, as we have known it, might well have some problems (going from the examples you have stated).

    But we shouldn’t forget that in some time to come, genetics will offer us the possibility to “choose our offsprings’ features”. Like “I want my baby to be blond, with blue eyes, very intelligent”, etc. That may be one form of evolution, but not natural evolution.

    Coming back to natural evolution, I still think that the fittest will still survive. Diseases that are transmitted from generation to generation, like HIV/AIDS and diabetes, are on the increase in Mauritius. One distant day, we’ll perhaps have a ‘sick and dying’ population. If by chance one person has not been infected, he will survive.

    Well, let’s hope that in fact at least two persons of either sex, a boy and a girl, will survive 😛

    (My story sounds like ‘apocalypse day’ or the ‘cleansing of humankind’. I’m sincerely sorry to all those who feel hurt by what I’ve written.)

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