Duane Hoffmann / MSNBC illustration
Evolution didn't stop when the human species arose. So what will the descendants of present-day humans look like millions of years from now?
Humans Really Are Still Evolving, Study Finds
Author: Charles Choi
Natural forces of evolution still continue to shape humanity despite the power we have to profoundly alter the world around us, researchers say.
Evolution occurs in response to outside forces that weed out whatever individuals are least fit to survive those pressures, allowing those better-fit individuals to survive and reproduce. However, since humans radically alter their environments
, some researchers have questioned whether natural forces of selection continue to act upon our species.
For instance, agriculture can generate surplus food that can insulate us from many ills of the world.
The findings, detailed online Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, add to accumulating evidence of our continued evolution. For instance, past research has suggested the human brain has been shrinking over the past 5,000 years. Another study of an island population in Quebec found a genetic push toward a younger age at first reproduction and larger families.
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