Will humankind continue to evolve? The present answer must be “no.” Cultural evolution has buffered us against biological pressures that weeded out the feeble,slow,or stupid. Now, power tools, computers, clothes, spectacles, and modern medicine devalue the old inherited advantages of powerful physique, intelligence, pigmentation, visual acuity and resistance to diseases like malaria. Societies hold high percentages of physically weak or ill-proportioned people, and people with poor eyesight, or skin color and disease resistance unrelated to the climates where they live.

Some individuals who would have died in infancy a century ago survive to breed, handing on genetic faults to future generations.

Migration, too, has helped halt human evolution. No group lives isolated long enough to evolve into a new species as happened in the Pleistocene. And racial differences will decline with increased interbreeding of peoples from Europe, Africa, the Americas, India and China.

David Lambert

The Cambridge Guide to Prehistoric Man


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