Study Shows Humans Are Still Evolving
Humans are subject to the forces of natural selection just like any other species, say scientists. A popular misconception is that humans stopped evolving when they took up farming and embraced monogamy. But evidence from detailed church records of almost 6,000 Finns born between 1760 and 1849 suggests this is not so.
Researchers analysed data on economic status, births, deaths and marriages to examine four key natural selection factors: survival to adulthood, mate access, mating success, and fertility. They found that the Finns’ natural selection opportunities were on a par with those seen in the wild. Differences in early survival and fertility were responsible for most of the variation in fitness, even among wealthy individuals. Strict adherence to monogamy did not limit the potential for natural selection.