Mankind’s Exemption from Evolution

Mankind’s Exemption from Evolution
by
David G. Schlecht

I once had a dear friend explain to me that she believed in evolution but didn’t believe that mankind was subject to it. In my naivety, I poo pooed the notion that we could somehow be blessed with some magical powers endowed by our creator. Today, I must apologize for my failure to believe in the answer because of my discomfort with the delivery system. CLW, are you there?

Today I heard a discussion on the radio regarding the “ultimate goal” of evolution. Of course, this implies some magical forethought (or Intelligent Design) rather than a simple system of selection. But, still, what is the final phase (ultimate goal) of evolution? The final evolutionary phase of any successful species is to evolve beyond the reach of evolution. Let me explain.

All around us we see species mutating and dying off. In fact, last count I read was that we are seeing the extinction of hundreds of thousands of species every decade. Most of this is due to the success of the human race. Species that don’t do so well around humans (like many birds, wildlife like lions, ocean dwellers like dolphins) are all dying off. Species that coexist well with humans, like cockroaches, flourish.

Studies show that when a species’ parents are unhealthy (such as those under environmental pressures) they have a higher rate of birth defects. In other words, mutations increase as the species’ environmental fitness reduces.

Environmental fitness changes as the environment changes. As the environment becomes more alkali or more acidic, or more rich in oxygen or more rich in carbon or methane, the species may become less well adapted and thus experience more mutations. With the increased mutations, there is a chance that a random mutation may cause the offspring to be better adapted to the new environment and thus have a better chance of surviving, reproducing, and spreading the new, better characteristic (mutation).

I’m not talking evolution, here, but just describing what we all see around us every day. You may call it natural selection, or evolution, or God’s will, or the coming of the X-Men.

We see species change around us all the time. Just look at how good mankind has become at breeding dogs. Man made the different dog strains, not evolution. However, in the time that we’ve seen numerous breeds of dogs come and go, we’ve seen mankind stay exactly the same. There are no discernible genetic differences in mankind’s genes in our entire species’ history. We see different mixes and matches but no mutations allowing the offspring to better adapt to the environment.

Why is that? Why has mankind not evolved since we first began keeping records?

Mankind is reaching the pinnacle of evolutionary perfection. We are becoming such a well suited species that there are few mutations and none of the mutations create better suited offspring. Did God make us this way? Who knows. With no witnesses alive today to testify and no reliable history books from the dawn of mankind, your guess is as good as mine. And what’s more, what does it matter?

The better adapted a species is to its environment, the less control evolution has over it. This means that the “ultimate goal” of evolution is to produce a species that perfectly matches its environment. Of course, when it does, the environment usually changes.

5 thoughts on “Mankind’s Exemption from Evolution”

  1. This post presents an interesting concept, and is very thought-provoking. I love having something to ponder.

    As for the subject of the post not having anything to do with politics … I found it refreshing to find a blog post that does something other than blame and rehash the Bush-Cheney-Obama-Pelosi arguments.

  2. Yes, CLW is here. And she thanks you for your apology … even though it wasn’t necessary. Good blog, by the way. 🙂

  3. Mankind is not exempt from evolution. Our large population and interbreeding of people from many populations leads to a certain genetic homogeneity. Additionally, we have the ability to adapt to different climates and environment using culture and intelligence rather than biology (ie: if it gets cold we wear a fur coat instead of evolving one). Anything that isolated a human population (creating a bottleneck) would kick start biological evolution rather quickly. Homo Floresiensis is a good example.

    Finally, there is no ultimate goal or path set in evolution. It is simply the adaptation of species to different environments. Our intellect allows us to adapt externally rather than biologically.

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