Tuesday, 11 December 2007
Human Evolution Quickens in Europe
The truth on the evolutionary nature of entelechic racial development is finally coming out , the articles below are groundbreaking and deserve further comment. First though read these quotes and understand the revolutionary nature of this information ;
"All truth passes through three stages: First, it is ridiculed; Second,
it is violently opposed; and Third, it is accepted as self-evident."
- Arthur Schopenhauer
"Theories have four stages of acceptance: i) this is worthless nonsense;
ii) this is an interesting, but perverse, point of view; iii) this is
true, but quite unimportant; iv) I always said so.
-J.B.S. Haldane, 1963
"The security provided by a long-held belief system, even when poorly
founded, is a strong impediment to progress. General acceptance of a
practice becomes the proof of its validity, though it lacks all other
merit." - Dr. B. Lown, invented defibrillator
"The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever
that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the
majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish
than sensible." - Bertrand Russell
"New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any
other reason but because they are not already common." - John Locke
"All great truths begin as blasphemies." - George Bernard Shaw
"Be not astonished at new ideas; for it is well known to you that a
thing does not therefore cease to be true because it is not accepted
by many." - Spinoza
"Only those who attempt the absurd will achieve the impossible."
- M. C. Escher
"Only a fool of a scientist would dismiss the evidence and reports
in front of him and substitute his own beliefs in their place."
- Paul Kurtz
"If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research,
would it?" --Albert Einstein
"In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the
humble reasoning of a single individual." - Galileo Galilei
"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence."
- Sir Martin Rees (astronomer)
"In science it often happens that scientists say, "You know that's a
really good argument; my position is mistaken," and then they would
actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them
again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should,
because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it
happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that
happened in politics or religion." -Carl Sagan
"The most erroneous stories are those we think we know best -- and
therefore never scrutinize or question." -Stephen Jay Gould
"Science today is locked into paradigms. Every avenue is blocked by
beliefs that are wrong, and if you try to get anything published by a
journal today, you will run against a paradigm and the editors will
turn it down" - Sir Fred Hoyle
"The pressure for conformity is enormous. I have experienced it in
editors rejection of submitted papers, based on venomous criticism of
anonymous referees. The replacement of impartial reviewing by
censorship will be the death of science." -Julian Schwinger, physicist
"New ideas are always criticized - not because an idea lacks merit, but
because it might turn out to be workable, which would threaten the
reputations of many people whose opinions conflict with it. Some people
may even lose their jobs." - physicist, requested anonymity
"When a thing is new, people say: 'It is not true.' Later, when its
truth becomes obvious, they say: 'It is not important.' Finally, when
its importance cannot be denied, they say: 'Anyway, it is not new.'"
- William James, 1896
"The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out the
conservative adopts them." - Mark Twain
"Loyalty to a petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human
soul." - Mark Twain
"We should be eternally vigilant against attempts to check the expression
of opinions that we loathe." - Oliver Wendell Holmes
"The altar cloth of one aeon is the doormat of the next."
"Biologists can be just as sensitive to heresy as theologians."
- H.G. Wells
"You can recognize a pioneer by the arrows in his back." - Beverly Rubik
"If the man doesn't believe as we do, we say he is a crank, and that
settles it. I mean, it does nowadays, because now we can't burn him."
- Mark Twain
"A lie repeated often enough becomes the truth." - G. Goebbels
"There is nothing so absurd that it cannot be believed as truth if
repeated often enough." -William James
From The Times
December 11, 2007
Why the human race is growing apart
Mark Henderson, Science Editor
Races have evolved away from each other over the past 10,000 years, according to new research that challenges standard ideas about the biological significance of ethnicity.
A genetic analysis of human evolution has shown that rather than slowing to a standstill it has speeded up, with different pressures on different populations pushing racial groups further apart. Scientists behind the findings suggest that European, African and Asian populations grew genetically more distinct from each other over several thousand years, as their environments took them down different evolutionary paths.
This would call into question the popular scientific view that race has little or no biological meaning, as the genetic similarities between ethnic groups greatly outweigh differences.
While this remains true – all humans share more than 99 per cent of their DNA – the new work indicates that variations tend to differ between races, and that these became more, not less, pronounced.
“Human races are evolving away from each other,” said Henry Harpending, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Utah, who led the study.
“Genes are evolving fast in Europe, Asia and Africa, but almost all of these are unique to their continent of origin. We are getting less alike, not merging into a single, mixed humanity.
“Our study denies the widely held assumption that modern humans appeared 40,000 years ago, have not changed since and that we are all pretty much the same. We aren’t the same as people even 1,000 or 2,000 years ago.”
The research is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. If the trend towards increasing genetic diversity were to continue, it could lead ultimately to the development of different species. Most scientists, however, think this is now highly unlikely.
The research identified evolutionary currents only in past times. In the modern era, greater movement and gene flow between the continents has probably slowed or even reversed patterns of increasing genetic difference, making the evolution of separate human species virtually impossible.
Armand Leroi, Reader in Evolutionary Biology at Imperial College, London, said: “In principle, this could have led to speciation if it had continued. In practice, it has got to be the case that that cannot happen now. The reason is that this study has looked at largely separated populations in the past, but everything about human history since the Industrial Revolution weighs overwhelmingly against separation and thus against speciation too. Huge increases in gene flow are going to wipe this trend out.”
The study shows that over the past 5,000 years, new genetic variants have been emerging at a rate 100 times faster than in any other period of human evolution.
If this rate were to have remained the same since humans and chimpanzees diverged around six million years ago, the genetic difference between the two species would be 160 times greater than it is.
The scientists said this reflected the great increase in human populations over that period, which has allowed more beneficial mutations to emerge. Changes in the human environment, particularly the rise of agriculture, also created new selective pressure to which humans adapted.
Tribes and traits
— The research compared genetic information from four modern ethnic groups – Japanese, Han Chinese, Yoruba Nigerians and Utah Mormons of northern European ancestry
— Examples of traits that differ among the groups include the lactase gene, which allows people to digest milk into adulthood
— Most Europeans have this gene but it is absent in most Africans and Asians. This may reflect the ancestral importance of dairy farming in Europe
— Disease-resistance genes also differ. About 10 per cent of Europeans have CCR5, which confers some resistance to HIV, and which may have evolved to give resistance to smallpox
— Previous research by Professor Harpending has suggested that the above-average intelligence found among Ashkenazi Jews could be the result of selection in medieval Europe, where they tended to work in trade and finance. This, however, has been criticised by scientists.
Source: University of Utah, University of Wisconsin-Madison
The rapid ascent of man: how the human races are evolving apart
By DAVID DERBYSHIRE - More by this author »
Last updated at 11:24am on 11th December 2007
Humans are evolving at a faster rate than at any time in history, according to a study.
Scientists say the speed of natural selection has accelerated so much that within a few generations we will have evolved resistance to diseases such as diabetes and malaria.
Instead of people from different parts of the world becoming more alike over time, they have actually been diverging, the study suggests.
Scroll down for more...
Genetic change: We are adapting faster than ever
Dr Henry Harpending, a professor of anthropology at the University of Utah who led the study, looked for clues about the speed of evolution in the DNA of 270 people from around the world.
The research showed that the population explosion since the Ice Age 10,000 years ago had accelerated the rate of genetic change.
"We aren't the same as people even 1,000 or 2,000 years ago," he told the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
"The dogma has been these are cultural fluctuations, but almost any temperament trait you look at is under strong genetic influence.
"Human races are evolving away from each other. Genes are evolving fast in Europe, Asia and Africa, but almost all of these are unique to their continent of origin.
"We are getting less alike, not merging into a single, mixed humanity."
The study looked for genetic evidence of natural selection - the evolution of favourable gene mutations - during the past 80,000 years by analysing DNA from northern Europe, China, Japan and Africa's Yoruba tribe.
The Europeans were mostly represented by data from Utah Mormons. It looked at genetic variations called single nucleotide polymorphisms.
These are mutations that appear in DNA and if they are favourable, can spread quickly through natural selection.
The rate of evolution increased 40,000 years ago - after modern humans had left Africa and were colonising the world - and sped up even more when agriculture was developed 12,000 years ago.
These changes included the emergence of paler skin in Europeans to cope with the lack of sunlight in northern climes, and the spread of a gene that allows adults to drink milk without being ill.
Today, that gene is common in Europeans, but rare in Africans and Chinese.
Although the study found growing differences between races, it does not take into account mass migrations of the past 100 years which have brought together people from parts of the world that were once isolated.
Dr Harpending said differences between races "cannot be used to justify discrimination".
"People have rights and should have opportunities whatever their group," he said.
Co-author Dr John Hawks from the University of Wisconsin, said people were evolving resistance to diseases.
"If you suddenly take hunter-gatherers and give them a diet of corn, they frequently get diabetes. We're still adapting to that.
"Several new genes we see spreading through the population are involved with helping us prosper with high-carbohydrate diet," he said.
There are now more than two dozen genetic changes linked to malaria resistance, including an entirely new blood type known as the Duffy blood type.
Another recently discovered gene, CCR5, originated about 4,000 years ago and now exists in about 10 per cent of the European population.
It was discovered recently because it makes people resistant to HIV/Aids. But its original value might have come from obstructing smallpox, Dr Hawks said.
Humans are evolving more quickly than at any time in history, researchers say. In the past 5,000 years, humans have evolved up to 100 times more quickly than any time since the split with the ancestors of modern chimpanzees 6m years ago, a team from the University of Wisconsin found.
The study also suggests that human races in different parts of the world are becoming more genetically distinct, although this is likely to reverse in future as populations become more mixed.
"The widespread assumption that human evolution has slowed down because it's easier to live and we've conquered nature is absolutely not true. We didn't conquer nature, we changed it in ways that created new selection pressures on us," said anthropologist Dr John Hawks, who led the study.
The researchers analysed data from the international haplotype map of the human genome, and analysed genetic markers in 270 people from four groups: Han Chinese, Japanese, Africa's Yoruba and northern Europeans.
They found that at least 7% of human genes have undergone recent evolution. The changes include lighter skin and blue eyes in northern Europe and partial resistance to diseases such as malaria among some African populations, according to the study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Some of the changes were tracked back to just 5,000 years ago, and "today they are in 30 or 40% of people because they [are] such an advantage," said Hawks.
Many Chinese and African adults cannot digest lactose in milk, but across Europe a lactose-tolerance gene is now widespread. One reason is thought to be that at northern latitudes sunlight is weaker, so people make less vitamin D in their skin. Vitamin D is crucial for absorbing calcium, so being able to digest milk throughout life made people in colder climes healthier.
The surge in global population had also led to faster evolution since more mutations occur, the researchers said.
They believe that in future, the tendency to start families later in life will drive evolution. "People are having problems with infertility, so any kind of genetic variation that increases the success of later fertility will be selected for," said