Are Humans Still Evolving?
Humans have definitely changed over the course of many years. We changed in how we think and act, and also in our physical appearance as well. However, the question that everyone has contrasting opinions on is “Are humans still evolving?” In my opinion, I believe that humans are still continuing to evolve. If we compared how we were plenty of years ago to how we are now, there is quite a big difference and the changes are noticeable. Therefore, three reasons why I believe humans are still evolving are because of our removal of wisdom teeth, the fact that we drink milk, and that we are withstanding diseases.
Some people, however, might argue that humans are not evolving in such a big way to make any sort of impact. However, this isn’t true. Despite all of the modern technology and medicine we have today that challenges the theory of natural selection, humans are still evolving. Genetic studies show how humans are still going through evolution, as well as the fact that we are still adapting to our environment surrounding us. There are more gene mutations, resulting in more natural selections from them as well. For those reasons, humans are evolving in ways which are evident.
To begin, the removal of our wisdom teeth helps to show how humans are still evolving for a couple of reasons. Our ancestors used to have larger jaws providing enough space for all 32 teeth. Since what our ancestors ate was very tough and contained hard material such as roots and nuts, wisdom teeth were therefore suitable for those types of foods. The large jaws were very important for survival and having 32 teeth led to many advantages for our ancestors as well. Removing our wisdom teeth shows how natural selection eliminates that certain trait since it is not necessary for survival, and that we developed from our ancestors through evolution. Our jaws are smaller in size, which is why we don’t have enough room for them, and they need to be removed in order to not interfere with our jaw movements. The food that we eat today is also easy to consume and isn’t as chewy, and we have knives and such to tear apart our food. Finally, we no longer rely on our wisdom teeth due to the evolution of our jaws.
Next, drinking milk proves how humans are still evolving for various reasons. The gene which lets us take in lactose had once been turned off in early childhood. The ancient Europeans had an absence of a genetic mutation which allows for the ability to consume milk once reaching adulthood. Today, however, most people with Northern European ancestors are able to digest lactose. Another reason why drinking milk shows how we continue to evolve is that the genetic mutation allowing for this intake of lactose helps reproduce more genes as well. Drinking milk became beneficial and widespread once cows, goats, and sheep were tamed. It is a trait which evolved quite quickly and continued over many generations too. Finally, being able to drink milk became a great advantage in evolution.
Lastly, our ability to withstand diseases indicates how we are still evolving for many reasons. One reason is that the resistance to some diseases could have been passed down genetically. People surviving from such diseases are very likely to pass it down to their offspring. A total of 1,800 genes were discovered which helped fight diseases in humans. Also, living in cities helped produce a genetic variant allowing for disease resistance. In populations with a history of city settlement, this trait was more widespread. Disease resistance was a result of previous exposure to pathogens, and ancestors passed this trait on to descendants. Finally, natural selection allowed for the ability to be immune to certain diseases to be passed down.
In conclusion, there are a variety of ways that show how humans are still evolving. Removing wisdom teeth clearly indicates how we differed in our diets and our jaws grew smaller as time moves on. Being able to drink milk in adulthood shows how we had a genetic mutation that allowed us to do so. The ability to resist diseases can be due to genetic advantages. These three pieces of evidence are all signs that we continue to change as a species. Overall, evolution continues to work to this day.