Biology and You

Being Human

Are humans evolving?

This question depends on your view of “evolution”: if you consider that minute changes have occurred in the human body over the past centuries, then yes, humans are evolving. For example, research suggests that the human brain has been shrinking over the past 5,000 years. Another study showed that wisdom teeth are beginning to vanish from the human mouth—with about 35 percent of people already born without such teeth. Another sign is thought to be the blending of populations, or gene flow, in which racial differences disappear. Still another study suggests that humans of the future—a trend we are starting now—will no longer require big muscles to perform feats of strength, thanks to machines and technology—meaning we may be weaker and smaller in the future. But this may also mean, say some researchers, that we may be weaker in terms of our immune systems, too—becoming more susceptible to pathogens such as viruses and bacteria.


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