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BBC: Are humans driving evolution in animals?


From BBC:

The intentional selection of the qualities we like (such as flavour and size) in domesticated livestock and cultivated crops has led to descendent animals and plants that differ genetically from their ancestors. This change in gene frequency is evolution, and in this case has come about by a process called artificial selection.

Natural selection is basically the same process. The difference is that instead of humans selecting individuals to breed, natural selection pressures such as predation, or the reluctance of females to mate with lower quality males, cause some individuals in a population to prosper and produce offspring while others fare poorly, leaving fewer offspring.

If the trait that caused the parents to prosper has a genetic basis, then the offspring will inherit that trait and likewise prosper, changing the frequency of genes in the population.

Thus saith Darwin, and his true followers believe it’s just that simple.

It seems that virtually everything we do can have an accidental evolutionary consequence and scientists are already devising evolutionarily sustainable management plans for harvested resources. More.

Well good for them for wise use.

But, as it happens, the rest of the article does not demonstrate the author’s claims. The evidence from nature is the opposite, as Chernobyl 25 years later, demonstrated. Life forms that escape human influence generally return to type, if they do not go extinct.

It’s the sort of article one is inclined to call Darwinblather. It gets in the way of a serious discussion of the impact of humans on animals.

See also: After Chernobyl, Eden?


Talk to the fossils: Let’s see what they say back

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