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We aren't turning into X-men, that would be too much fun! Evolution is increasing however as different organisms' habitat is changing rapidly by human population increases. There was an article in December's American Scientific that spoke to this. Evolution used to be though of as something that look longer than a person's lifetime to happen. But they are finding now that meaningful changes are happening to create new species within a 5 year timeline.

The article states that invasive species like Cane Toads in Australia are adapting to different habitats as they expand their range. The toads are getting less poisonous and growing in different shapes that better allow for their survival in the new habitats. Furthermore, OTHER species are changing too in response to the toads. Already they are finding that snakes are having smaller mouths. This is presumably because their cousins with larger mouths ate the poison toads, died, and were unable to pass their "large mouth" genes on.

We see this too with fish in the ocean. Already fish at a given age are smaller than in the past. This is because fisherman take the larger fish and throw the smaller ones back. That means that the smaller fish are the ones that get to reproduce making the entire species smaller than their ancestors.

Humans however don't make the cut as we don't live really live in nature. I'm particularly happy for this as I require glasses. In a natural state I'd have to learn to farm, fish, and trap as my eyesight wouldn't allow for good hunting with a spear or bow. Furthermore, I'd have to find a way to protect my "patch" from stupider but larger and stronger humans that would rather take mine than work for them selves.

Humankind's gene pool IS expanding because nature's selective influence is less and there is not as much pruning of those individuals not well suited to the environment. Just expansion of the pool does not make a new species since there isn't a selective environment that kills off the more weakly suited individuals in an area. While there still is AIDS, cancer, etc. most of the stuff that would kill us gets treated with hygiene, antibiotics, refrigeration, etc. In effect, humankind cares for those less suited and that allows their potentially less suited genes to propogate and even futher develop in directions a state of nature would not allow.
 

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Bullandvodka:

Are you a scientist? Great explanation. BTW, you mentioned the gene pool. Saw a bumpster sticker on that...........The gene pool needs some chlorine!
 

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Bullandvodka:

Are you a scientist? Great explanation. BTW, you mentioned the gene pool. Saw a bumpster sticker on that...........The gene pool needs some chlorine!
Nope, I make software. But I travel a lot and am always in need of reading material. I'll blow through a standard "popular" magazine in about 10 minutes. So a couple of years ago I got into the science magazines like New Scientist, American Scientific, etc. Those tend to have more "meat" in them and hold my attention longer. I've always been a fan of the Discovery Channel, etc. I like them and learn a few things that don't seem to help me in my average day although I do win the occasion bet.

I really just buy these mags to have something to read until the flight crew allows me my iPod (then I switch to these http://www.teach12.com/teach12.asp?ai=24154). If tou love History, Culture, or the Arts I just can not recommend them enough. I've bought a few, but I found my local library has then, so I check them out and rip them to my iPod. :wink:

My favorite new bumper sticker I saw was "6 Billions Miracles Is Enough".
 
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