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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Are Our Cushy, Tech-Filled Lifestyles Halting Evolution?

Back in the good old days, the weak, slow and stupid would be eaten by lions, leaving the quick and the smart to live on and breed quick and smart babies. But these days, any moron can wheel themselves around a Wal-mart on a motorized scooter, buying Hot Pockets with food stamps while talking on their prepaid cellphones, going home to have 15 other fat, stupid babies. This isn't evolution! It's de-evolution! And we have technology to thank for it.

Well, at least according to British genetics expert Steve Jones. "In a modern world of central heating and plenty of food, the same mutation is far less likely to give a child any advantage. A baby born today can expect to live a long and healthy life, which in turn works against the evolutionary tool of natural selection."

Basically, living in this technologically-advanced era "greatly reduces the influence of mutation, random change and natural selection, the three major forces of evolution." That means it's no longer survivor of the fittest, instead just survival of everyone. Which means we won't be seeing as many changes in the species as we've seen in the last few millennia. Instead we may have hit a plateau, a plateau where everyone gets to add their seeds to the gene pool no matter how dumb and slow they are.

Original here

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