Friday, February 10, 2023

Recent Evolution Shaped Humans Today

Science news:
The Most Dynamic and Impactful – How the Last 12,000 Years Have Shaped What Humans Are Today

Humans have been evolving for millions of years.

However, the past 12,000 years have been the most dynamic and impactful for human living. According to Clark Spencer Larsen, a professor of anthropology at The Ohio State University, our modern world all started with the advent of agriculture

“The shift from foraging to farming changed everything,” Larsen said.

Along with food crops, humans also planted the seeds for many of the most vexing problems of modern society.

“Although the changes brought about by agriculture brought plenty of good for us, it also led to increasing conflict and violence, rising levels of infectious diseases, reduced physical activity, a more limited diet, and more competition for resources,” he said. ...

Another important change in the diet of humans was the addition of dairy. In one article in the Special Feature, researchers examined dental calculus found in remains to show the earliest evidence of milk consumption dates to about 5,000 years ago in northern Europe.

“This is evidence of humans adapting genetically to be able to consume cheese and milk, and it happened very recently in human evolution,” he said. “It shows how humans are adapting biologically to our new lifestyle.”

More here.

Evolutionists used to claim that humen genetic development was frozen 50,000 years ago. Now it turns out that there has been a lot recently, even in the last 1,000 years.

This recent Mindscape podcast discusses how humans are different from apes and other animals. In particular, humans can cooperate in ways that apes cannot. The guest hypothesizes that the development was maybe 500,000 years ago, as humans began to hunt in groups. Okay, but some societies today cooperate better than others. I think that these skills are still evolving.

Later the guest argues for free will, speculates that it may have evolved millions of years ago in our lizard ancestors. He says no one can deny free will, except as an academic exercise.

Host Sean M. Carroll says that he agrees, but he has separately explained at length that he believes in determinism and compatibilism. This means that free will is an illusion, but a useful illusion. He also believes in many-worlds theory, which is even more bizarre than determinism.

Lizards do seem to make decisions, but they do not have consciousness like humans.

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