I have really enjoyed this class because there are many concepts that I have never thought about and ideas that surprise me, for example, there are so many similarities between chimpanzees and humans (we share 98% of DNA with chimpanzees!), and after this class I have a better understanding of evolution of human and human variation. I find out that we, as human, have very little knowledge of human history. So, I would definitely recommend my friends to take this class.
Humans are continuing to evolve due to many factors, such as, environments, cultural traits, mutation, behavior and so on. For the environment, there are some areas are closer to the equator, meaning these areas experience high UV radiation. People in these areas tend to have darker skin, and dark-color skin can protect them from D poisoning, skin cancer and sunburn. High latitudes area, such as Canada and Russia, “allows enough UV to produce enough vitamin D from low UV environment and prevent vitamin-D defficiency”
Other example of human evolution in modern day is genetic mutation. Genetic mutation does not necessarily mean the organisms have some kind of disadvantage or “serious phenotypic effect”, but beneficial in some way: sickle cell allele in malaria-infested environment and Apolipoprotein AI-Milano. People who have sickle cell allele have a better chance of surviving in such environment and Apo-AIM can reduce the possibilities of stroke and heart attack.
For the behavior, male primates will attack and even kill other primates in order to expand their territories, gain resources and mate with other female primates. Well, humans also had the history of killing, such as war. Similarly, when choosing their mates, primates also focus on physical traits, such as body size. Both humans and non-human primates have the behabior of group froming. Group forming can increase the access to food, and have more eyes to protect their resources and territory.