Although we have spent the semester learning about how species have evolved over millions of years, humans are still constantly evolving. We have focused on the huge biological and physical changes in species before, such as bipedalism, dental structure, height, and brain size. While we cannot observe such changes taking place in modern day humans, there are smaller changes that are happening which make it clear that our species is still evolving. Some of the most important changes happening now are in the realms of technology, culture, and migration.
One of the biggest ways humans are evolving has to do with technology. We are constantly developing new technologies to make our lives better and easier. One of the biggest influences of technology is how it has closed the distance between people around the world. We have planes and ships to travel across the ocean, telephones and email to talk to people on different continents, and social media to update others on your life in an instant, regardless of location. Businesses are able to work with associates in other countries without meeting in person. People can go on dating websites and meet someone from across the world and fall in love. With so much technology making physical distance increasingly meaningless, it makes one wonder how this will effect things like gene flow and genetic drift.
Another way in which humans are evolving is also tied in to technology. With the internet and social media, we are able to learn about other cultures across the planet that we may have never learned about before. Whereas before cultures were more isolated and distinct, today there is a lot more melding and mixing of different cultures. While groups still value their individual cultures, people are much more accepting of other cultures. People can experience the cultures of others and appreciate them much more easily nowadays. Things like slang, music, fashion, and food trends can spread internationally very quickly. There are restaurants that have all sorts of international cuisines, online stores to purchase goods from other countries, and websites like Youtube where we can hear music that’s popular across the world. This creates a global culture that can unite humans around the world. I think we are evolving to be one united human race instead of segregated by region, country, race, or ethnicity.
Humans are also evolving to travel a lot more. With the increased availability to transportation and decreased transportation costs, it’s now much easier to visit other countries and continents. Humans are now traveling and exploring the world more than ever before. Tourism is an ever growing industry that was only made possible by the technology we have created. Not only are we traveling on vacations more than before, there is also much more migration. We can move to another country for work, to be closer to family or friends, to escape violence or persecution, etc. This contributes largely to gene flow and creates much more diverse populations in countries around the world.