Homo sapiens may not have evolved into a separate species since they first showed up on Earth. However it is still early, we have changed a lot in the few hundred years changing from hunter gatherers to farmers and revolutionizing the way we interacts with each other by moving into and making large cities. There have been social evolutions and genetic evolutions since the earlier days of the Homo sapien.
Mutations and evolution are necessary to adapt and survive in changing environments. Humans DNA is mutated every day, whether it’s in somatic or gamete cells, these mutations maybe beneficial. Looking through generations, we can see the average heights of males and females across different countries increase by as much as 6 inches. This is mainly because of individuals being more selective when they chose a partner. The taller humans tend to be more successful in finding a partner than those who are shorter. In the future, it might even be normal to see that everyone is over 6ft tall. Humans are also selective with other physical traits such as hair color. There has been a hypothesis that has been going around since I was in junior high that red heads might disappear in the near future. Whatever the reason they claim it to be (I’ve heard accounts of warming temperatures and radiation causing them to change their hair color to far impossible ones like “because they have no soul”), this slow decrease in number of a prominent phenotype is an example of modern evolution.
Another way humans are evolving has to deal with the evolution of other organisms also. Like we learned in earlier lectures, there are beneficial mutations that make it easier for a person with a specific set of alleles to be able to survive an epidemic. The example we had in the earlier lecture was malaria and sickle cell anemia, where a heterozygous individual for sickle cell would have more of an advantage against malaria when compared to homozygous recessive individuals and homozygous dominant, this is called the heterozygous advantage. In malaria infested areas in the world, we can see that there is a larger than normal group of individuals who are heterozygous for sickle cell. These individuals will reproduce and create a whole new genotype frequency for the next generation. We can probably predict that this might happen to other diseases in the future. My prediction is, with the increasing numbers of antibiotic resistant bacteria, there will be those who genetically have an advantage against the strain and those who do not. Eventually, those who survive are able to pass on their DNA and change the gene frequency in the area and maybe completely overcoming the fatal gene leading to evolution in the long run if it continues.
While humans may not be evolving into a new species anytime soon, there are many smaller ways that we can see how we have changed within the past few thousand years. With this data, we can predict how we might change in the future and come up with new ideas and technology to advance ourselves.