The Effects Of Darwinism On Modern Humans
What are the effects of Darwinism on modern human populations? How did natural selection work in humanoids, has it recently stopped due to technology?
Twenty thousand million years ago, a form of apes known as Cro-Magnon roamed the earth. According to most scientists, these creatures are our distant relatives. We evolved from them. However, how did we evolve? We evolved through a process known as natural selection. Natural selection is the process in which by traits that best allow for survival are passed on generation through generation. Think of it this way: if a person was born that was resistant to cancer, wouldn’t that person be “selected” for? Now what if you had a person who couldn’t breathe in car fumes, chances are that person would never have a kid, therefore never passing on his genetics.
Natural selection has been one of the main causes of evolution for many millions of years. However, many people are starting to ask if technology is curbing natural selection’s efforts. A hundred years ago, infertility was slightly less prevalent than it is today, why? Nowadays, if someone is infertile there are many processes that allow them to have kids. Unfortunately however, their kids then have a greater chance of being infertile as well.
Resistance to malaria was created in Africa through the Sickle Cell trait. This was a form of natural selection, the mutation which allowed for resistance to malaria became quite prevalent over a period of time. In our society we have a similar disease, AIDS. People who have AIDS are given an array of drugs which allow them to have kids and live for an extended period of time. Perhaps, if our technologically advanced society did not implement such measures, we would have a select population which was immune to AIDS.
Technology has created machines and drugs which help treat people who have asthma, allowing these people to live their lives with virtually no aversive circumstances. These people do not think of their disease as life-threatening. However, hundreds of years ago, people with asthma often died, and did not pass on their genetics. If our society ignored asthma suffers, and did not offer technological solutions which allowed them to live normal lives, their prevalence in society would decrease.
There is another force known as artificial selection, where the environment picks the “superior” traits and promotes breeding of them. Why don’t dogs sweat? A few thousand years ago, people would take their dogs hunting, and if they didn’t catch anything they’d occasionally eat the dog. However, if one of your dogs didn’t smell bad and you really liked the dog, would you eat it? No, you wouldn’t, and then the dog would have puppies, more non-sweating dogs.
Our society has the needed technology to entirely replace natural selection, for the better. Test-tube babies could be specifically formulated to be resistant to diseases, or to be a little bit taller, or live a bit longer. This article has harped on the harm technology has done to evolution, however, it must be realized that in due time humanity will hopefully give back to nature.
Genetics has allowed scientists to create pigs with human hearts, however, at the same time it must be realized that this will increase heart defects in our population. A happy medium can be reached; whether or not it is ethical is up to society to determine. Eugenics can specifically decide who will or will not have babies based on advanced screening of their genetic make-up. Yet, who will want to be told that they are not superior enough to have children?
New traits are going to slowly become more prevalent in our society through time. Perhaps obesity will be artificially selected out of populations, or teenage acne could be diminished. Our society is slowly changing the forces of nature that have controlled our world for millions of years, God only knows what the future will hold.