Continuing Evolution in Humans (was: A very surreal day)

From: Chris Hibbert (
Date: Fri Aug 03 2007 - 10:57:48 MDT

Tom McCabe wrote:
> Hmmm... While this does look like a legitimate example of
> natural selection in humans, I'm noting that this is a
> special case (due to the comparative reproductive isolation
> of Jews in Europe) and therefore not likely to apply in the
> future, especially due to the technology-driven global
> homogenization currently in progress.

A more recent example is the change in the prevalence of sickle-cell
among American Blacks compared to their relatives in Africa due to lack
of malarial mosquitoes in North America.

While this isn't a case of /new/ attributes coming into prevalence, it's
certainly an example of selection.

> I'm also not convinced that this has had any significant
> effect on the course of human history- while a comparatively
> large proportion of scientists and such may be ethnically
> Jewish, a large number of them seem to have abandoned Judaism
> as a religion, eliminating the most substantiative difference
> between them and their colleagues.

Hmm. That seems like an unusual reading of the effect of evolution on
history in the case of the Ashkenazim. The usual story that I hear is
that some difference in their genetics led them to contribute a higher
proportion of high-IQ individuals to the population. Around the time
between WWI and WWII, these people ended up making a large difference in
events in western Europe and around the world. Whether they maintained
their religion during and after making a difference to the course of
history doesn't seem to affect whether their presence made a difference.

> On Aug 1, 2007, at 7:45 PM, Tom McCabe wrote:
> > Evolution has not had any significant influence on human
> > species for the past thousand years due to time limits and
> > the recent lack of selection pressure see
> >
> Randall Randall responded:
> The high ability of Ashkenazim seems to argue against this:


All sensory cells [in all animals] have in common the presence of
... cilia [with a constant] structure.  It provides a strong
argument for common ancestry.  The common ancestor ... was a
spirochete bacterium.
   --Lynn Margulis (
Chris Hibbert

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