Why Have We Evolved?

Sciencey stuff is always a joy to write about……and I look for the topic of climate change to find its way back into the political discourse……and this article was a good find….it may help the debate (something I doubt very seriously)…….what causes climate change?  Will it effect humans in a good way?  Maybe a bad way?

A recent piece of research has found a possible link to why we, as a species, evolved to the point we are at today……

(Newser) – Early humans evolved in fits and starts due to rapid environmental changes—not gradually as scientists used to think, according to a new study. Analyzing lake sediments in northern Tanzania, scientists from Penn State and Rutgers University concluded that climate change altered the landscape back and forth from grassland to woodland five or six times over 200,000 years, the Telegraph reports. That would have changed food availability, diet, and means of acquiring good—which “can trigger evolutionary mechanisms,” says Penn State professor Katherine Freeman.

“The result can be increased brain size and cognition, changes in locomotion and even social changes—how you interact with others in a group.” Several factors may have triggered the climate changes about 2 million years ago, including changes in sea temperature and the Earth’s movement around the sun. Any change in the amount of sunshine, for example, would have altered rain patterns that in turn affected plant patterns. “The research points to the importance of water in an arid landscape like Africa,” says a graduate student on the project. The findings conflict with the “Great Drying,” the view that Africa gradually dried out over 3 million years.

Will we evolve again into abetter species?  Or will we totally destroy our chances of continuing?


7 thoughts on “Why Have We Evolved?

  1. Lobotero,

    I think you have unwittingly provided a perfect example of why it’s ridiculous for society to put too much stock into a scientific theory, and then fundamentally alter our way of life on the basis of that theory. Because, after all, theories change, as your article shows.

    Scientists used to think that evolution was gradual, but now they believe it’s rapid. Thirty-years ago, scientists were warning of global cooling; fifteen-years ago, scientists were warning of global warming; today, scientists are warning of the all-encompassing “climate change.”

    Imagine what they’ll be saying in ten-years…

    1. Right. We should instead put our faith and hope in some old guy in the sky who likes to kill off people who can’t see him because they have a hard time believing he exists or his claims of loving them.

      1. Larry,

        Save your Biblical misunderstanding for someone who actually cares, or for a discussion in which it has even a modicum of relevance. If anyone is a follower of blind faith, it’s you.

  2. It’s a testament to our shortsightedness to even think we’ve stopped evolving. The conditions by which it proceeds have been altered (the unfit can reproduce) but the forces are still in place.

  3. I’ve always said that the human race is only on species on this planet who possess both the intelligence and innate stupidity to bring about its own extinction.

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