Evolution is one of the most interesting and at the sametime, debated ideas of our times. It is the idea that creatures of all kinds,constantly change from one form to another, with the passage of time. The ideahas become fairly mainstream, but there are many who still question it. Infact, there are many people in the world who don’t believe the theory ofevolution.
Regardless, given in the list below are ten things aboutevolution that you might find to be interesting.
10. Human Evolution Is Still Going On Today
Many people think that evolution takes millions of years orat least thousands of years, and it is a very slow process to track. But, scientistsare now able to track the genetic shifts in real time. Thanks to technology andadvancement in science.
It may seem like humans have already completed theirevolutionary process.
This is however just an illusion. And it’s because evolutionis a continuous process. It is driven by mutations in the genetic code, whichgets transmitted to the next generation, without exception.
While the inheritance of a few mutations doesn’t really meanmuch, the constant occurrence of mutations and their subsequent accumulationeventually leads to the rise of new species.
In other words, as long as the mutation and inheritanceprocess goes on, evolution will continue.
9. Genetic Engineering May Allow Us to Guide Our Own Evolution
Genetic engineering is the process of altering the genetic code of an organism to produce the desired effect.
This is a branch of science that has been used in the past,is being used today, and will continue for a very long time. At the same time,however, the process of genetic modification is still under research and willtake time to be perfect.
But once it is perfected, it is possible that science can beused to change the genetic code of future generations. Instead of waiting forthousands or even millions of years to get the desired change, the changes canbe created in as little as a single generation alone.
In other words, we may be able to steer our own evolution inthe near future.
8. Transhumanism Is One of the Proposed Evolutionary Levels for Human Beings
This is not related to natural evolution but somethingsimilar.
There are people who believe that natural evolution is tooslow and that the best evolutionary strategy is to accelerate it with the helpof machines.
In other words, to create a new race of humanity called cyborgs, there are suggestions that people should merge with machines. This idea is what is called Transhumanism. Transhumanism is a theory about humans evolving beyond the current physical and mental capabilities. It could be achieved using emerging and futuristic technologies.
It should be noted that the concept refers largely tomachines but can extend to other aspects of science and technology as well.
7. Vestigial Body Parts are a Relic of Historical Evolution
One of the best proofs of evolution can be found investigial body parts.
These are body parts that can be found in the body, whichseem to serve no particular purpose but did so not too long ago in the past.
For example, the human appendix used to help early humans todigest grass. Today, however, it is useless. Other animals like cows and sheep,which eat grass on a regular basis, have functioning appendices.
Likewise, the webbing between human fingers is a relic ofhumanity’s aquatic ancestor. There was a time when the ancestor of humans,which was likely a frog-like creature, lived in water and used webbed feet andhands to move about.
6. Humans Likely Contain Some Amount of Neanderthal DNA
Numerous human subspecies existed alongside modern humansfor a very long time ago. Among them were the Neanderthals.
Today, the Neanderthal is extinct. However, a part of the Neanderthal DNA may be present in modern humans particularly those who live in places like Europe and Asia. According to studies and researches on humans, it is believed that humans have 20% of Neanderthal DNA. The Neanderthal DNA in humans is found in skin, hair, and nails. Even the modern diseases among humans have close relations to the Neanderthal DNA.
The theory has been proposed that at one point in humanhistory when humans and Neanderthals were living together, some Neanderthalsmixed with modern humans and passed on their genes.
This is still being studied and with the passage of time, wewill be able to find out more.
5. Early Human Embryos Are Similar To Those of Other Animals
The embryo of all animals is essentially alike during theearly stages of formation. Until the 8th week after conception, the unbornchild is still called embryo. After the 8th week, the embryo becomes a fetus.
In other words, the embryo of a human is no different thanthat of a dog, chicken or fish, during the first few weeks of pregnancy.
This is because all animals evolved from the same ancestor,millions of years ago. Meaning, all the animals including humans carry the sameancient genes. So, many of the living organisms on Earth are related to eachother and share the same development phase.
4. Evolution Works along the Principle of ‘Survival of the Fittest’
The way that evolution works, is along the principle of “Survival of the Fittest.” The biological process of evolution is governed by a simple yet powerful phrase given by Darwin. Fossil records across the globe are proofs that this theory is real.
In other words, it is a reference to the fact that a specieswill only survive if it is fit enough. If in case it isn’t fit then theselective process will eliminate it through factors like predators, disease,and so on. Every species struggle to survive, but the strongest one actuallysurvives by the process of natural selection. This phrase is from Darwinian evolutionarytheory. It was first used by Charles Darwin in the book On the Origin of Species.
3. The Theory of Evolution Was First Proposed By Charles Darwin
The modern-day theory of evolution was first proposed by an English naturalist named Charles Darwin. Charles Darwin was a biologist & naturalist who made pioneering contributions towards the science of evolution. Darwin’s contribution significantly influenced the scientific community in history and influences even now. He made his contribution through an important book in history.
He made his theories public in his book, On the Origin of Species which was firstpublished in the year 1859. This book talks about natural selection amongspecies of organisms. The naturally strong, competent and powerful organismsurvives. The theory of evolution is also called as Darwinian Theory. The theoryexplains that all species change over time, give rise to new species, and sharea common parent.
2. Darwin Came Up With the Theory of Evolution by Observing Birds
Darwin came up with the theory of evolution when he started to study the finches on an island called Galapagos, in the Pacific Ocean. These finches were later called as Darwin’s finches. The Darwin’s finches were a group of 15 species of perching birds which are known for their remarkable diversity in beak formation and function. He noticed that the finches had uniquely adapted to their environment and theorized that environmental changes led to the specialization of species, through a process which he referred to as evolution.
1. Humans Have Tails Before They Are Born
An average person may not have a tail. But that doesn’t mean that they didn’t at one point in history. Actually, the fact is that all humans are born with a tail. During pregnancy, fetus shows characteristics of a tail which vanishes over time. This feature of human beings is one of the most interesting of all vestigial organs in humans.
Once the baby is born, the tail would have shrunk almost entirely. But, there are times when babies are born with these vestigial tails which are removed through surgery. The existence of tailbone among mammals acts as proof that humans had tails before evolving into modern human beings.
As a whole, the theory of evolution and how humans have evolved is one of the most interesting aspects of science in the world. From the very nature of the idea of how it colors the world with diversity, it is one aspect of biology that is worth knowing about. Many things about human evolution are mind-boggling and mysterious.