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Coffee!! with your human evolution: Scientists have seen your future and it is Fat City Central


Or maybe not.

From Britain’s Independent (Olly Bootle, 28 February 2011), we learn, “Our species is still evolving, but future humans might be more like Danny DeVito than Stuart Broad”:

The realisation that differing fertility levels might be driving change in our species has led evolutionary biologist Stephen Stearns, from Yale University, to look at evolution in a radical way. By analysing data gathered in an otherwise unremarkable town, Framingham in Massachusetts, he can tell how the people of the town will evolve in the coming generations. His calculations have convinced him that people are still evolving, and in a surprising direction. “What we have found with height and weight basically is that natural selection appears to be operating to reduce the height and to slightly increase their weight.”

Stearns points out that this isn’t just a case of people eating more: “There’s no doubt that there are big cultural effects on things like weight. But we can estimate what the genetic component is of the variation in height or the variation in weight.”

Hmmm. If Framingham is unremarkable, people move in and out all the time, roughly unhindered. Most of the world was always shorter than average Americans, but lighter. So a migration trend would have a shortening effect. Wonder what would happen to the Girth Effect if walking and running, instead of driving, caught on?

There it is at last! Evolution in action!

‘Course, when I was fourteen, they also told me that by the time I was 30, I would be consumed in a nuclear holocaust, living on the moon, and a hippie.

Can’t think till I’ve had my coffee, but there’s gotta be a game somewhere, according to which, three strikes and you’re out. Well, whatever that game is called, it’s not called “Predicting the future of the human race.”


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