I can’t count how many times someone has remarked glibly and smugly with glazed eyes and a vacant smile “But we have modern medicine/modern society now. Human evolution has stopped.” I’m stunned every time. I’m used to stupidity, but even otherwise intelligent people will say this to me. Do they choose not to think?
Do they choose to refuse to understand that nature never takes a holiday and that our genes are locked in eternal competition for survival? Do they not understand that no one will care about their ‘careers’ past the day they retire? That our ‘accomplishments’ will be forgotten as soon as we are dead?
Changes in stressors merely change the selectors! Heavy rains are good for some plants, bad for others. Socially awkward growing up, I keenly felt the cold steel of Darwin’s axe on my neck every day of my entire youth. I was trapped in a prison of society’s blazing hostility for over a decade. I was never allowed to delude myself that everyone succeeds. Before I was a teenager it seemed I stood on the edge of that ignominious trash pit failed specimens are dumped into by nature’s callous hand. I’ve never, ever forgot it.
This is, in itself, selection at its best. Those capable of further reflection will have a major advantage over those that buy into the popular platitudes.
The selective barrier I see in modern affluent societies is for an abstract appreciation of the essentials.
For instance, the type A go-getter that always goes for that promotion but never has any kids, dying out as completely as the dinosaurs, no better than the wino on the street corner, no different than a young man brutally mowed down in battle.
In past generations, the type A’s instincts would have been optimally suited towards breeding with the best mates.
Now, however, a more abstract way of thinking about one’s genetic destiny is required for success…or the total absence of thinking, allowing one to rut without care on the animal level. These are the two present viable formulae for genetic success in the Modern West.
With humans, we give primacy to ‘environment’ and insist on a ‘blank slate.’
We can breed dogs specifically to herd sheep yet do not believe in breeds of people that have come about from the demands of specialization over the last millennia of civilization?
Childish, williful ignorance at its best.
Those who determine the future of the genes, determine the future of the species.