All matter in the universe is made-up of chemicals, including human beings. When chemicals interact with one another , they trigger changes which might be as minor as a rash caused by a sting from ant or the larger planetary forces at play within the universe that form planets and therefore the organisms that inhabit these planets. Evolution is embedded into existence – everything that naturally exists is sure to evolve & humans are not any different.
Our evolutionary journey began within the deep oceans of Earth. Some fish thought – “Hey, maybe I should inspect what it’s like-to breathe outside of water”. At some point, one among these fish species succeeded & life on-land began as we all know it now. Scientists believe a “comb jelly” is that the earliest species on Earth.
The fish species that facilitated life on-land evolved from their immediate ancestors 360 million years ago, most likely from species like hagfish & lampreys. Most of our characteristics like shoulders, elbows, legs, a neck resemble what ancient fish that were ready to survive on-land would possess. Sure, our immediate ancestors are still apes – because of striking similarity we possess.
Evolution is a fact & therefore the constantly changing nature of our surroundings and bodies will still evolve within the future. For now, let’s focus on 6 recent evolutionary changes that are reported among human beings:
1. A new artery growing in arm
Just last week, it had been reported by the Journal of Anatomy that a lot of human beings have developed a new artery – highlighting the evolutionary processes at play inside modern humans. Situated within the centre of one’s forearms, the artery in question usually disappears within the womb.
Now that it’s being retained among many of us , we’ve additional vascular tissue .
2. lactase deficiency & tolerance
People in India still grimace at the thought of somebody having allergies. But allergies of all kinds are extremely common – to nuts, to lactose, and even to wheat. most of the people don’t realise their allergies & still survive with them. Milk contains lactose which many of us simply cannot digest. This causes bloating, cramps & vomiting among those people.
Yet, our ability to tolerate milk didn’t happen naturally. it had been caused by genetic changes between 5,000 and 10,000 years ago among European societies that first embraced milk. Essentially, we evolved with our dietary needs but not everyone could adjust. In Africa, this tolerance was developed as recently as 3,000 years ago.
3. Immune system’s protective gene
The ability to fight viruses & diseases is basically generational advantage. the very fact that the cold doesn’t kill people anymore is testimony to how many humans have died due to viral infections & diseases.
Those lucky enough to survive passed on these evolutionary traits to their offspring… and so on.
Think of Covid-19 – during a few years from now it wouldn’t be as lethal as-it now & should receive an equivalent treatment as seasonal flu or a nasty cold.
Caspase-12 gene is a-part of body’s natural anti-bacterial defences. But it simply remains inactivated among human-beings now, for it caused poor response to bacterial infections. Human bodies simply evolved to suppress this particular gene among many things.
4. Body temperature
Did you think that that humans have the present average body-temperature since we started ruining, err, living on this planet? the answer is no .
Since 1868, 98.6 degree Fahrenheit is taken into account the standard average temperature of a healthy body.
More than that’s a fever, and anything below hypothermia.
Julie Parsonnet a professor of medicine at Stanford University conducted a study that found that average temperature among humans is dropping by 0.5 degrees every decade – we are actually cooling down!
The real average temperature of humans now’s 97.9 degree Fahrenheit – bet you didn’t know this! Also seems like humans are evolving to-get cooler?
5. The diet gene
FADS2 is that the official name of a dietary gene – considered one among the foremost important ones. Different versions of this gene exist without a social & cultural group – depend on their diets. Vegetarians & carnivores will have different iterations of FADS2.
In 2016, scientists discovered a mutation within the gene among vegetarians in Pune, India which allowed them to produce essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids from vegetarian sources.
These acids are liable for healthy brain function, and long-term carnivores might not be ready to produce these acids naturally if they modify their diets. Interesting way humans are evolving, no?
6. Lighter bones
Our ancestors had denser & heavier bones than us. Evolutionary processes and therefore the changes in our surroundings caused our bones to weaken about 12,000 years ago, coinciding which mass farming among human communities.
A study from 2015 undertaken by an anthropologist Habiba Chirchir, et al posited that our skeletons became delicate as food security improved with agriculture – another proof of how we evolve as a species is dictated by how our societies & just humanity’s activity levels evolve.