Best evidence so far that humans are still evolving, scientists say
Humans are still evolving, scientists say, but don't expect any winged mutants like this one from "X-Men: The Last Stand."
October 3rd, 2011
03:00 PM ET

Best evidence so far that humans are still evolving, scientists say

Ordinary people evolve to have extraordinary capabilities on TV shows like “Heroes” and movies like the "X-Men" franchise. In real life, people don’t have genetic mutations that give rise to wings or telepathy, but scientists say human evolution is still happening. A new study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science offers some of the best evidence so far.

Researchers at the University of Quebec at Montreal examined a very detailed database of church records for residents of Ile aux Coudres, a tiny island northeast of Quebec City, Quebec, between 1799 and 1940.

The data allowed scientists to track the ages at which female residents had their first-born children. Among those women, the average age of first reproduction dropped from 26 to 22. The study supports the idea that increasingly younger birth ages were influenced by genetic changes caused by natural selection. In other words, the propensity to have a child at a younger age is the result of inherited genetic traits, the study suggests. (Evolution means that organisms change over time based on inherited traits).

"The study is the first to demonstrate a genetic response to selection in a very important demographic trait in a human population in such recent times," said Yale University professor of evolutionary biology Stephen C. Stearns, who helped review the study.

The evolutionary change is likely due to falling mortality rates, says Stearns. Better hygiene, vaccines and medicine that allow more infants to survive, he says, are likely linked to ongoing evolution among the women on Ile aux Coudres who had children earlier with each successive generation.

But why does the study consider the mother's age at first birth a genetic trait rather than a cultural one?

Well, for one, the research offers genetic evidence that the trend of decreasing age of first birth was largely biological, says Stearns.

In general, there is a correlation between age at a woman's first menstrual cycle and age at first birth. That said, it's possible that the "inference" of the trend as a genetic trait was "contaminated" somewhat by "any element of culture such as education, wealth or religion  that varied among families," he says.

The only way to draw a definitive conclusion, says Stearns, would be to measure culture as precisely as science measures genetics which is impossible or to study a large group of both identical and fraternal twins reared apart from birth which is difficult.

As a result, Stearns says, "we must remain agnostic on a definitive conclusion."

The study "is probably one of the very best confirmations so far that human populations are still evolving," Stearns says. Until recently, it was assumed that humans hadn't changed in any significant way genetically since the ancient Greeks or earlier, he says.

"I think that science is now showing that it may be happening slowly but we are still changing," says Stearns, who authored a similar study using detailed medical records beginning in 1948  from a group of people in Framingham, Massachusetts.

But a co-author of the new study, Emmanuel Milot, points out that just because "evolution is possible in rapid time, doesn't mean that it's occurring all the time."

"We're changing," Stearns says, "in ways that are being shaped by our culture."

It's not the first study to suggest this idea.

Tibetans in the Himalayas have evolved to better adapt to low oxygen at high altitudes over just a few hundred generations, according to research published last year.

Other studies revealed that adult humans in regions of Africa and Northern Europe developed the ability to tolerate lactose in their diets as recently as 5,000 or 6,000 years ago. Scientists say the evolution was linked to the cultural reliance on milk as an agricultural product.

"What is different with our study," says Milot, "is we follow the change from one generation to another in the population. The lactose tolerance and Tibetan studies are processes that occur during a longer time that leave patterns in the genes of the population."

The Quebec study will help scientists close in on one of the biggest cutting-edge questions in the study of contemporary evolution: How important is specific genetic makeup when it comes to medical treatment? Physicians in the future may improve health care by learning more about how treatment outcomes are linked to the particular genetic maps of their patients.

Although science has overwhelmingly accepted Charles Darwin's 19th-century theory of genetic evolution by natural selection, the concept still has its doubters. In fact, when CNN Light Years opened up the floor to reader comments on the topic of evolution, there were more than 3,500 responses, with a broad mixture of opinions, and clearly some people have strong views about whether religious beliefs can mesh with evolution. But the scientific community treats evolution as an established fact.

By the way, just for fun, we had to ask: What about super powers? Any chance that ongoing evolution will be creating any winged superheroes any time soon?

Um, no, says Stearns.

"No mutations producing another pair of appendages have ever been observed among humans or any four-legged creatures in 350 million years. That's among millions of different species not only our own. It's not going to happen."

Post by:
Filed under: Discoveries • Human ancestors • News • On Earth
soundoff (786 Responses)
  1. Morteza

    If we hold evolution theory to be true , under what environmental condition did birds grow wings? growing legs are understandable, but growing wings won't be – Also, how would the requirement of certain species to survive reflect on their physics? Did they pray for it!!!? for all we know, species who couldn't deal with the environment were extincted before they can evolve

    October 4, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
    • Epidi

      The development of wings likely came from where the best food sources for a particular group were. Bugs develop wings to get away from predators, predators in turn develop wings to get more bugs. Ergo, some dinosaurs grew feathers & evloved into birds. The females became selective about plumage when mating choosing those characteristics that appealed to them mpost and that's why male birds more often than not have brighter colors than females.

      October 4, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
      • frespech

        More of the same-we ae changing getting taller,getting heavier, having babies at a younger age. Yet you suggest bugs grew wings, then reptiles grew feathers to catch the bugs, so why not people growing feathers to catch the birds. If people really stopped to think of the possibility of an entirely different genus created by evolution it doesn't take long to see the fallacies in the belief or "faith" in such a concept. Because certain animals existed but no longer exist is not evidence of evolution only proof that the animals once existed.

        October 4, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
      • FKell

        @frespech, People did not evolve wings to catch birds because we evolved a brain which allowed us to create tools, weapons, and traps to catch the bird instead. It is a lot less energy to setup a trap and walk away and do other things than it is to run/fly around chasing after something that, due to its size, is much faster and more maneuverable in the air than we ever could be given our starting point, that our way to catch birds was much easier evolutionarily speaking, than it would have been to convert our arms into wings (since we could still have a way to "catch birds" so to speak).

        October 4, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
      • darkstar

        frespech – one thing that is certainly not evolving is your IQ as demonstrated by your scientific illiteracy.

        October 4, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
      • heliocracy

        frespch you make the same mistake as most evolution deniers...you seem to think that an animal without wings suddenly had a baby with wings. It doesn't happen that way. Wings developed after a series of very small changes over billions of years. Evolution does sound crazy if you posit that an ape gave birth to a human. Again, that's not the way it happens at all.

        As for the "fallacy," simply consider this. Start with an animal, any animal. Over millions of years, genetic mutations occur in the population. Those that are beneficial give individuals who have them a competitive advantage, and those individuals have more offspring. Eventually, most or all of the population inherits the trait. Now, repeat that process thousands or even millions of times over millions or billions of years. Is it so hard to believe that the animal you end up with at the end of the process is very different from the one you started with? Only if you believe those billions of years didn't actually pass...in which case there's no sense in even talking to you.

        Don't get hung up on the words "species" or "genus," these are just convenient categories people made up to classify animals, not some actual feature of the natural world. Just because we consider two animals to be two different species does not mean that nature must respect our definition of "species" from the beginning of time until now.

        October 4, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
      • Raiderx18

        Who gave you the idea that your evolving creatures had millions of years or even billions of years to attempt to change?

        October 5, 2011 at 12:04 am |
      • fimeilleur

        @ Raiderx18

        You have evidence to the contrary? Please do tell.

        October 5, 2011 at 12:26 am |
      • Schewps

        @Raiderx18
        Are you serious man??? Really? Lets see.... Ummm maybe because the earth has been around for around 4 billions years? Why would you even post anything on this thred if you dont know that simple bit of information?

        October 5, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
      • blah

        wait... people developed brains... but the trade off was that humans are relatively weak. additionally a large cranium entails a massive amount of energy usage. if people are indeed getting bigger, then it would make less sense for our cranial capacity to also be evolving, which is the direction that legitimate scientists predict ( the neural network is improving). If this iis true, (i believe legitimate scientists pov more than this article's writers pov), then isnt this just the result of nutrition and that this is not an evolution so much as within the natural range of human growth? while it might be optimal to have both a strong body and a large cranial capacity (and given our virtually unlimited food [people starve, but there is more than enough food to feed everyone in the world including the people starving]) it doesnt make sense in evolution because that is really inefficient. it seems more plausible to have either or, because with one the other is unnecessary. in addition, i thought larger groups formed because of the need to survive, that gave better communication skills, that in turn led to the eventual human living in a social group.... if we get stronger, then there will be less need meaning our cranial capacity will be reduced (assuming that his is inversly proportional)...... sorry i dont buy it. (excuse my terrible grammar and or train of thought. i havent slept too much so im really tired...)

        October 6, 2011 at 7:10 am |
      • Dan

        @Blah – from what I can discern, you're creating a false dichotomy between "brains and brawn", as it were. It would be easy to argue that we're smarter than blue whales, but difficult to argue that we're roughly 20,000 times smarter, as my back-of-the-napkin calculations suggest as a minimum for our relative strength disparity. I'm not clear on what you're responding to/refuting, or why you placed your comment in this particular part of the thread.
        Efficiency isn't critical to evolution at all. It's often rewarded, but far from critical. To suggest that strength and intellect aren't compatible because it isn't "efficient" enough is baseless and invalid. For an example of grotesque inefficiency, look at our child rearing process. We have offspring that are completely helpless, immobile, and hopelessly clueless for a great many years. Elsewhere in the animal kingdom you find, for the most part, offspring that are immobile and helpless only for hours or days, to months covering the vast majority. (A few notable exceptions, such as some big cats, take a couple years to have wholly independent offspring).

        October 6, 2011 at 9:08 am |
      • Sean

        No, you've got it exactly backwards. Bugs don't develop wings to get away from predators - the individuals who had some kind of proto-wing was in fact able to get away from predators better than those without it, and so survived to reproduce more. The more effective the "wing," the better the bug was able to survive and reproduce, apparently, and so this trait was "naturally selected" time and time again. Nothing evolves with a purpose; there's nothing teleological about any part of the process - it's totally blind. It is a reflection of what works in that niche at that moment in time, not anything indicative of future utility.

        October 6, 2011 at 9:18 am |
      • Sean

        That should have been "Individuals... were." Dang complex sentences.

        October 6, 2011 at 9:21 am |
      • JPopNC

        PUH-LEEZE.....they grew wings because the food was unreachable? If it was unreachable, how did they even know it was there?????

        October 19, 2011 at 8:55 am |
      • Prometheus

        By using your own logic then @Frespech, how does 'having faith' in something that cannot be proven become the superior debate position against any other position that by your own assertion cannot be proven or that you do not personally agree with?

        Here is what I believe...evolution not withstanding:

        "Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." – W. S.

        October 21, 2011 at 12:03 am |
    • Religious sects

      "Extincted" ... Seriously?

      October 4, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
    • Josh

      Morteza, the evolution of bird wings is actually very well documented in the scientific literature. Theropod dinosaurs developed light-weight skeletons allowing them to move quickly and change direction more rapidly, making some of them excellent pack hunters. This also lightened the overall mass of some of the smallest dinosaurs sufficiently that several of them probably climbed trees and jumped down from above, surprising prey from a unique attack direction. From there, data from Archeopteryx indicates that some dinosaurs scales elongated and became more featherlike. This adaptation probably helped Archeopteryx to glide for a few moment before dropping onto its prey. The glide ability was so useful that it expanded to a group of dinosaurs, which eventually developed the ability to take to the air by flying instead of having to climb trees and gliding down. This is a rough approximation of a vast amount of data and is by no means complete. The main point is a series of adaptations that were beneficial for other reasons first, lead to also being beneficial to the development of flight. It always behooves everyone to ask a question and search for an answer, not just assume there isn't any because the ability seems to be amazing.

      October 4, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
      • curious

        Thanks for this post. I am atheist but still find some aspects of the theory of evolution hard to grasp. For instance, in this article evolution seems to be occuring because more human beings are able to survive through technology, but I thought that evolution occured when a certain subset of the population died and a stronger subset survived. It would seem like if everyone is around to pass on their genes than you wouldn't see a convergence of traits in the population.

        Anyways, do you know how bugs developed flight? I had always considered the fact that several unique genetic paths had developed flight (bats, birds, bugs) to be an indicator that our current understanding of how species change is flawed and that there must be some sort of trigger that we are missing.

        October 5, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • Pat

      Morteza,

      Birds did not just suddenly grow wings. As was said, it was a multi-step process. You yourself have arms. Technically, you can glide just a little bit. For instance, ever watch a skydiver? Stick your arms out, you slow down, and can control direction.

      Feathers existed before flight. They are excellent at thermal insulation and often have watershedding properties, without extreme weight.

      At some point, an animal took advantage of it's limited gliding ability to catch prey or escape predators or impress mates. Over time, the lightest skeletons, feathers best suited for flight, etc., developed. Gliding became better, and eventually led to flight. These things don't happen overnight, baby steps.

      October 4, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
      • frespech

        And yet I don't see a single human with scales, elongated scales or hair starting to look like feathers. Would certainly make my trip down south to Florida in the winter a lot cheaper and more convenient.

        October 4, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
      • Paulwisc

        Why should you, frespech? Humans developed other ways.

        October 4, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
      • fimeilleur

        @ frespech,

        You wake up in the morning and get in your car... you drive down the road a few miles and get to work.
        I wake up in the morning and get in my car... I drive down the road a few miles and get to work.

        Do we work at the same building? No... but we drove the same distance, and we used the same mode of transportation and the same means of transportation, probably started at about the same time too... but we still arrive at different places...

        Now apply that to evolution... and you get a VERY watered down version of what's going on.

        October 4, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
      • David

        @frespech (it's free speech BTW) Why would we have scales? We (mammals), like birds, started out as reptiles. The scales are a thing of the past. And i you doubt this look at the duckbilled platypus, the only reason it's a mammal and not a mammal-like reptile is because it lacks scales.

        October 5, 2011 at 2:39 am |
      • Zammin

        @Frespech Once again you fail to understand. Birds evolved scales, feathers, wings etc. because those traits were useful to them. We, on the other hand, HAVE developed traits that are useful to us. Humans are mostly covered in hair. Thin hair, yes. Often shaved off for aesthetic purposes? Yes. But we nonetheless have this hair, which serves to warm our bodies. Obviously, hair is not an important trait nowadays due to increasing technology such as clothing and heating. Thus, someone born with less hair on their body has about the same survival rate as somebody WITH hair. This makes hair a fairly useless evolutionary trait.

        Similarly, the reason humans don't get "cool" abilities such as wings, scales, or anything like that is because it was not necessary. Wings were good for sneaking up on prey in order to eat. You know what else is good at surprising prey? A thrown spear. Or an arrow. And eventually the bullet. Time and time again it turned out that being smarter was pretty much THE best survival trait for the species, and so that is what evolved and developed. Which is why we are who we are and where we are. We didn't need wings. We built them out of metal and started flying anyhow.

        The greatest human evolutionary trait is what allows you to type your message on the screen, Frespech. Intelligence.

        And these nifty things called hands. Because we're not the ONLY intelligent species, we just happen to be a mildly aggressive (towards other species), tool-using one that has been intelligent long enough to have a method for beating any other species.

        October 5, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
      • JPopNC

        Evolutionary arguments continue to amaze me.

        Take this article for instance, the claim that women are having children at a younger age is evidence of evolution? Are they serious??? You don't have to go back any further than the 1800's or even early 1900's to see that. It wasn't till modern times that women started having children later in life (and I'm talking in their early to mid-twenties). In the early US years, girls were having children in their mid-teens. They married young and had children young.

        October 19, 2011 at 9:04 am |
    • RJ

      I dont believe in evolution, god knows of who we are and what we are to be.

      October 4, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
      • Dr.K.

        Why then are you so certain that God didn't want you to be the result of evolutionary processes? Accepting evolution doesn't go against "God," it only goes against your dogmatic evangelical preacher.

        October 4, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
      • vader74

        You are an idiot. God. Are you kidding me. Please dont have any offspring.

        October 4, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
      • Paulwisc

        Fortunately for the advance of knowledge, your beliefs have absolutely no significance.

        October 4, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
      • Twalker

        Nobody I know "believes in evolution" but they do accept it.

        October 4, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
      • Daniel

        You don't have to believe in gravity, either. But that doesn't change the physical law. Besides, how do you know God didn't create life via evolution?

        October 4, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
      • metsguppy

        What if God believes in evolution? If you are religious why not believe in guided evolution? Evolution is a fact. There is no evidence to show that evolution doesn't exist. People who take the bible literally are misguided at best. It is a series of moral stories collected over thousands of years which contradicts itself all over the place. So why not believe that the idea of evolution is true? Because some preacher told you? Even if you blindly believe the Bible it says in the good book that only God is perfect and without sin so therefore the people who wrote the Bible were human and could make mistakesm, such as the age of the world for instance. It has been proven that extinction is a fact (which many religions didn't believe in the past) why not evolution?

        October 4, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
      • onenation76

        your belief does not change the fact that is not there. God probably wanted to show us that even tho he created all creatures it does not mean they cannot adapt and improve. look at us. we improved with culture, technology, and science. these are proof that God not only made us, but also made us to improve our selves. hence "free will"

        October 4, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
      • fimeilleur

        You're right onenation76,

        ALL PRAISE KAMUY, who created the world on the back of a trout. Or did you mean Ptah?

        I keep getting all these creator deities mixed up...

        October 4, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
      • Ania

        I love reading all these comments. Why is it that religious ppl give credit to some "GOD" that lives in the clouds and NEVER comes down. I think its time we stop believing in imaginary friends ppl!! When u talk to GOD its ok but when GOD talks to you you end up in a mental institution...hahahah

        October 5, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
      • AL

        Where is evidence of god?

        October 5, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
      • lonewolf

        every animal got their wings, scales, or different bone structures, because as time went along god decided they needed these things to survive. not because of evolution, or natural selection.

        October 18, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
    • karmaapple

      Neither for nor against; but I want to point out a major flaw in this article:

      The article's premise that evolution is still continuing is based on evidence that women on some island in Quebec have children at an earlier age.

      What???? This could simply be choice, nor socioeconomic factors, or just simply random chance. In order for their premise to work.....they need to PROVE first,that women in the earlier time period could not have the first child sooner, even though they wanted to -– at least eliminate choice, if not chance, from their argument.

      Absurd!

      October 4, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
      • Matt Toma

        The only absurdity is your response, as nearly everything you raise was answered in the article.

        Is it so hard to finish reading before typing an emotional response and making it clear you only read the first paragraph of the article ?

        October 4, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
      • Stuart

        in europe in the middle ages it was normal for a first child to have been born well before the age of 20 – where does this fit into the research above? I am sorry but variation that moves over time both forward and back proves potential for variation, not ongoing progressive change. I have not read the study, but the way it has been reported would lead to a belief that either the scientists or the reporters are reaching for an explanation they hope to be true, and that their personal belief system needs. That makes either the conclusions of the study bad science, or the write up bad reporting.

        October 4, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
      • ALynn

        @Matt Toma...I did read the full article and it states "The only way to draw a definitive conclusion, says Stearns, would be to measure culture as precisely as science measures genetics – which is impossible – or to study a large group of both identical and fraternal twins reared apart from birth – which is difficult."
        Now I am ALL for the support of evolution. It is a fact regardless of one's beliefs. But this article proves absolutely nothing about anything.

        October 5, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • Cause Effect

      "under what environmental condition did birds grow wings? growing legs are understandable, but growing wings won't be"

      Your misunderstanding of the premise may be part of your challenge in understanding the larger theory. The environment does not CAUSE a species to develop a trait. The trait, like wings, occurs randomly but coincidentally provides greater health or survival. This competitive edge makes the possessor more likely to survive and win mates thereby passing on the trait. Compound the effect and the trait grows more and more honed to perform the function over time. With that, legs and wings are equally likely. They both provide a different form of mobility.

      October 4, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • Jason

      Wings are just limbs that can catch air so it probably started off as either a membrane to help something glide or cushion a fall.

      October 4, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
      • frespech

        They still have those, they are called bats or flying(more appropriately gliding squirrels) and yet still no feathers.

        October 4, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • Wow

      You're a m-o-r-o-n.

      October 4, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
      • frespech

        And by your comment you must be considered an intellect of enormous proportion.

        October 4, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • rodo

      if evolution was a true than morteza would have a brain

      October 4, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
      • Robbo

        Not necessarily. If there's any environment that is conducive to surviving without a brain, it's the modern socio-political environment. The kind of environment where whether believing in something is actually expected to matter. The kind of environment where a lack of evidence matters less than having someone believe in crackpot theories. And the kind of environment where a well-substantiated scientific principle like evolution is doubted and condemned because of minor inconsistencies, while hope is kept alive for alternatives that have yet to have a shred of proof attributed to them.

        October 6, 2011 at 8:57 am |
    • Dennis

      Wings enabled birds to travel long distances for food. Macaws can find a single tree with fruit in a huge dense forest then return to their nest

      October 4, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
    • DoNotWorry

      The flying animals gave up their arms to wings. The bone structure is remarkably simlar to human arms. No sign of any animal that grew wings in addition to their arms.

      October 4, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Morteza,

      You've never tried to catch a chicken, have you? Wings are an OBVIOUS evolutionary advantage for small, two legged animals. Why? That's simple, they enable you to turn a LOT faster when you are running. Which in turn, makes you much harder to catch. And, if they are small, they help a little, if they are bigger, they help more, if they get big enough, you can even fly. Evolution in action.

      October 4, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
    • brandon

      you're an idiot, go back to school or you will be extincted.

      October 5, 2011 at 1:04 am |
    • smurfeater

      Humans are such a funny species.

      October 5, 2011 at 10:39 am |
    • Oakspar

      Evolution implies either outbreeding (in number) or outsurviving (to breeding age) competing genomes.

      This means that evolution is making humanity stupid, poor, and immoral, not flying super-heros.

      Wealth comes from intellegence and delayed gratification. Poverty comes from stupidity and impulse gratification. Which one of those is linked to outbreeding by number and a lower breeding age?

      Since society has acted to reduce mortality across the board, every civilized culture removes any hope of evolution leading to species development. Instead, we are moving in the direction of Rodents, not theoritically higher mammals.

      So, if you want people to be successful, intellegent, and capable of choosing to control their actions, then evolution has nothing but bad news to tell you.

      October 5, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • Peter

      That is a popular misconception about evolution. Organisms do not evolve as a result of environmental stresses. An animal that spent its entire life stretching its neck to reach tall trees did not give birth to a giraffe. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver did not give birth to Austrian-accented body builders. The primary mechanism of evolution is natural selection. Random mutations occur in all populations, some beneficial, some not. If a new trait gives an animal a reproductive advantage, it will be carried into the next generation. Environmental stresses only drive evolution in that they affect what what gives a reproductive advantage; i.e. if the earth enters an ice age, animals that have fur will survive long enough to reproduce. But simply living in a cold area doesn't mean your children will be born furry.

      Evolution does *not* mean that our genes are somehow programmed towards some future target.

      October 20, 2011 at 10:00 am |
    • ina t

      http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=pDYoGvgvx7E

      February 12, 2013 at 10:12 pm |
  2. Mike

    More like humanity is devolving. Predators and nature are no longer weeding out the lazy and stupid like they used to. Also, these stupid people are the ones breeding like rabbits while the intelligent tend to delay having children and usually have much fewer. Evolution doesn't necessarily reward the strongest. In the absence of danger, it rewards those who breed the most.

    Somebody said hey well IQs keep rising. That is true, but those are average IQs rising from the bottom half of the population. They are indeed getting a bit smarter, but that does not mean the human intelligence potential is increasing.

    By the way. I"m not a conservative. I'm a liberal concerned about the planet, other critters, and the problems of human over population.

    October 4, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
    • Mike

      Seriously. Watch Idiocracy the movie.

      October 4, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
      • YOMAMMABITCH

        Seriously, read a book.

        October 4, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • Mike

      If you are concerned about human over-population, feel free to leave, or check out. Write when you find a suitable "super earth" or the other side.

      October 4, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
      • smurfeater

        So your answer is ignore it or leave? What a brilliant solution. You must be the product of a super breeder yourself, hell bent on spreading your own larvae around to continue the consumption of the planet.

        October 5, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • Epidi

      That's what epidemics and enviromental upheaval (quakes, storms, flooding, volcanic epruptions, etc) is for. Sooner or later the earth will shake off the fleas and the strong will survive – unless we reach a point where we can no longer adapt to major shifts in the enviroment. Then it's extictionville next stop.

      October 4, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
      • Gabe Jones

        Doesn't the hoarding of wealth and inheritance put our species on an unprecedented plane, evolution wise? We have inheritable possessions that influence the survival, conditions in life, and mate selection for our offspring that are not natural. The brightest and best are not going to thrive necessarily. Think of the the Habsburg Lip/Jaw deformation, Charles II of Spain and his notorious health issues. With the division of wealth and opportunity we have growing, we are in fact possibly creating conditions for the survival of the biologically weakest.

        October 4, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • Dr.K.

      There is no such thing as "devolving." Evolution is not directional or progressive. If something evolves away from complexity or some other personal ideal, the process is still evolution.

      October 4, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
      • Bart

        That's right. If we are changing in the way that Idiocracy suggests, we're still evolving, just not in the direction of super-intelligent beings that some people might expect.
        Evolution is simply change exerted by evolutionary pressures. If "smart" people choose to delay having children, then they're not smart in evolutionary sense. On the other hand, perhaps their children, while fewer in number, will be so much smarter than the "stupid" kids of the families with 5+ kids that they will still have more success in producing their own children. More likely, the true success will come somewhere in between.
        The movie Idiocracy is amusing but totally unrealistic. A world like that would have collapsed long before it got to that point, which would re-introduce natural evolutionary pressures that would favor intelligence again.
        Right now, successful (rich) members of society have a chance to have more well-raised kids than unsuccessful (poor) members. Millionaires can afford to have out-of-wedlock kids; so can rock stars. And they certainly don't shy away from this opportunity. And if poor people manage to raise several kids to adulthood and they will in turn have their own kids, that actually speaks volumes about their evolutionary fitness – if they were really stupid they wouldn't manage that, the kids would get run over by a car or burnt in a house fire or poisoned themselves or die of one of the other thousand possibilities. Even if they survived, they'd probably be disfigured and handicapped and have very low chances of producing their own kids. You have to have a certain amount of intelligence to survive and prosper in our society and that's not going to change anytime soon.

        You have to remember that evolution is based on chances/statistics: those who have the highest chance of being prosperous are prosperous in the end. Prosperous being defined as "surviving, producing and raising your kids to be at least as successful as you". Smart people who have few kids don't have high chances of being prosperous; stupid people that have many kids also don't have high chances of being prosperous; the best chances have smart people who have lots of kids. Yes, they do exist – and their children will inherit the Earth.

        October 4, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • Mike2

      I love this. Of course one has to understand in any closed system, the dominant species growth rate typically follows growth and decay models. You grow until you can grow no more and then you eat up all your resources and begin to die out... Perhaps this which you describe is just a beginning of the transition from the former (growth) to the latter (Decay).

      October 4, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • Jason

      To evolve doesn't necessarily mean to improve though in most natural cases life evolves to adapt to new changes in the envio.

      October 4, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • richp

      Somewhat true, we are also keeping alive though improved technology people who would normally not survive from birth, they then procreate and carry the genes forward that caused the problem.
      As far as mind readers and TK's, well, if they are smart they would never let anyone know. :-)))

      October 4, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
    • alternatives

      the way that modern human society is changing the human race makes perfect sense if you imagine us all as livestock on a farm, or perhaps animals in a zoo. We're basically being fed and groomed so that the keepers can harvest what they need from us with minimal resistance. Whether it's entertainment or some kind of sustenance, depends on how dark your thoughts tend to go. evolution is working perfectly, only on a meta scale.

      February 23, 2012 at 1:46 am |
  3. Go Sharks

    The Quebecois have a lot to learn about nutrition. The receding age of primary menstruation has been going on for the last three hundred years, and mainly in industrialized nations. Why? What has been found to be nutritious for growing boys and girls has markedly been improving; this also explains the increasing height. Look at the doorways from the castles back from the middle ages. This is actively being researched as it has been noted that Scandinavians have recently surpassed Americans in greater average height. Not because they are evolving but because they are eating more healthy and Americans are eating more processed foods and are actually shrinking.

    If anything, humans are DE-evolving. How many people to you know with foot problems (plantar fasciitis, flat feet, etc.)? Hundreds of years ago these people would die – unable to travel far distances for food. With modern technology like customized shoe inserts, these otherwise invalids are now allowed to survive long enough to breed and pass their bad genes on.

    The same goes with heart disease. Why is this an escalating problem in populations worldwide? Medicine is allowing people who would otherwise die from being dealt a bad hand to breed and mix these genes into the gene-pool.

    Don't get me wrong, I don't believe these people should die; I'm a medical provider myself. All I'm saying is there is correlation between technology, increasing genetic health problems, and increasing healthcare.

    October 4, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
    • Concerned

      There are so many problems with this assessment it's difficult to know where to start. However, let's start with this "The receding age of primary menstruation has been going on for the last three hundred years..." That is simply not true. The age of puberty has fluctuated wildly, even in the past 100 years, with a peak height in ages in western Europe during the last World War. Yes, nutrition plays a key role, but nutrition has not been constantly improving over the past 300 years, even in "industrialized nations."

      Now, the statement "If anything, humans are DE-evolving." There is no such thing as de-evolving. Evolution is non-directional and is not goal oriented. Changes in gene frequencies are the result of differential reproductive success. Those conditions that you list "plantar fasciitis, flat feet, etc." and even for the most part heart problems, are age-related and tend to be problematic long after individuals have reached their age of peak reproduction and would therefore have little effect on their ability to reproduce and pass on their genes. In that same vein, the idea that merely hundreds of years ago these people would have somehow been unable to travel for food and would have died off because of these medical conditions is in error. Humans have been sedentary (with a few exceptions) for thousands of years. There is ample evidence in the archaeological record of individuals with significant traumatic injuries, who clearly would not have been able to contribute to the group in equal proportions, living long after their injuries. This suggests that human culture plays a role in survivability, as you state with respect to medical intervention, but this has been going on for far longer than simply the last few hundred years.

      Natural selection, at its most basic level, is a process that occurs through an interaction between genes and the environment. Culture, in all its various forms, is simply part of the environment, and nothing more, from the viewpoint of natural selection.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • guest

      The foot issues you describe can be attributed to wearing shoes, which is not a function of evolution and therefore your argument is moot.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
      • Stuart

        if evolution is a response to environment then wearing shoes should eventually have an impact, and there should be some adaption going on somewhere, though the chance of seeing it is minimal, but the advantage it gives should over generations will become noticable

        October 4, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  4. Questionable

    Under the picture it states "Humans are still evolving, scientists say, but don't expect any winged mutants like this one from "X-Men: The Last Stand."
    Really? Did anyone actually expect this. May as well state "Scientist confirm the sun is bright but don't expect it to light up the night sky."

    October 4, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • Jack

      Really? That's what you posted? How's this: Read the comments but don't expect to see anything that bright.

      October 4, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
      • boblizster

        it sure seems like woman are evolving into the most beautiful creature they have ever been since the beginning of wo-mankind. everywhere you look there's someone drop dead gorgeous!

        October 4, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
  5. Trevor

    What a completely pointless article – of course human evolution is still happening, evolution doesn't stop – nor is it a "ladder" humans might not get better – we could go the other way easily.

    October 4, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • Professor Xavier

      We very well may indeed. Note how the bovine population evolved into fat domesticated grazing animals, ripe for the picking and cultivated by their predators (us). Seems we are going the same way with the obesity rates rising as they are.

      October 4, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • Bubba

      We're the only species on the planet that doesn't practice Natural Selection. As the gene pool
      continues to weaken, we're definitely evolving in the opposite direction.

      October 4, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
      • Larry

        Adolph Hitler felt the same way.....

        October 4, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
      • Paulwisc

        There is no direction. That's a scientifically invalid human-centric viewpoint.

        October 4, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  6. SpawnOfSwiss

    My question is, what did this article have to do with Religion?
    It was about how people are steadily evolving and adapting over time, which is a proven fact, not harping on how we evolved from apes. Evolutionist, Creationalist, it doesnt really matter because it has nothing to do with the article anyways. Take your religious debates elsewhere. This isnt even in the 'Belief Blog'

    October 4, 2011 at 11:23 am |
  7. mattmchugh

    Oh, I hate these "Ha-ha... made you click!" article headlines. Must. Control. Mouse.

    October 4, 2011 at 11:18 am |
  8. Bart

    In other news, a study involving jumping up and coming back down confirms that gravity still applies to humans.
    DUH.
    Of course evolution is still happening... how can anyone but a complete idiot doubt it? Stupid people who take unnecessary risks have a higher risk of dying before producing children, so careful people constitute a bigger and bigger percentage of humanity. This applies to practically every aspect of human behavior – smokers are dying out, drug addicts are dying out, soldiers are dying out, etc, etc. That's natural selection that results in evolution of the species. Why would it ever stop? Evolution is a process inherent to all life – it will only stop when life dies out.
    Duh.

    October 4, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • Paulwisc

      Your argument is invalid because in the majority of cases these deaths happen after reproduction.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  9. gregory

    yay im talkin:)

    October 4, 2011 at 11:04 am |
  10. ok

    It seems that people on this board hold a very Lamarckian view of evolution. Some basic bio classes are definitely needed. That being said, while this study seems interesting (I'll have to look at the actual publication before I believe anything written here), I am a bit skeptical that this is evolution and not a cultural phenomenon.

    October 4, 2011 at 11:01 am |
  11. Neal

    If this is the best evidence that evolution is still occuring in humans why do evolutionists wonder why more people don't believe in goo to you evolution?

    October 4, 2011 at 10:55 am |
    • I'm The Best!

      This isn't the best evidence, there is plenty of other evidence out there. All you have to do is look for it. It's as easy as typing "evidence for evolution" into Google.

      Also, just using this evidence that's provided here is still more reliable than using a book written thousands of years ago that is filled with inconsistencies and things that could never actually happen. So unless you can come up with something better than evolution and back it up with real evidence, then I'll keep believing we evolved over millions of years and didn't just pop into existance a few thousand years ago.

      October 4, 2011 at 11:13 am |
      • frespech

        Please send me a picture of your first observable sight of evolution occuring.

        October 4, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
      • Paulwisc

        frespech, please send me a picture of god. Performing a miracle, if possible. On second thought, make it a video and we can post it on YouTube.

        October 4, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
      • David

        It seems like evolution takes a lot of faith. It starts with a giant explosion and from that we slowly get people. Seriously, that is the scientific proof that everyone calls a fact. I remember learning this in school and the giraffe was used as an example. The giraffe has a long neck because the leaves were at the top of the tree. Come on!

        October 4, 2011 at 10:25 pm |
      • fimeilleur

        No David, faith is accepting something without any supporting evidence... synonymous with Gullibility and Naivety.
        Evolution is the gradual change over time... it only applies to the BigBang in the broadest of interpretations... there was once a singularity and now 14.3 Billion years later, we have the known universe... it has changed over time.

        The giraffe example was probably used to explain why a particular mutation would be beneficial... not how it happened... did you listen in school or just show up for role call?

        October 4, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
      • David

        So you do believe in the giraffe example of evolution as truth? There is no way that could have happened.
        It is amazing how upset you get when your faith of evolution is challenged.
        I suppose you supported the Bronx Zoo putting an African man in an exhibit in the 1900s because evolutionist said he was the missing link.

        October 5, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
      • fimeilleur

        @ David,

        Wow, projection at it's best... but I believe you'll find slavery condoned best in the Bible.
        No, you haven't challenged my "faith" in evolution... I am simply stating factual definitions of terms.
        So as to the evolution of the giraffe:

        The giraffe is one of only two living species of the family Giraffidae, along with the okapi. The family was once much more extensive, with over 10 fossil genera described. An early ancestor of the giraffids was a 3 m (9.8 ft) tall antelope-like mammal that roamed Europe and Asia some 30–50 million years ago (mya).[6] Closer ancestors of modern giraffes likely evolved 8 mya in southern central European, arising via the family Palaeomerycidae. Animals of the family Antilocapridae (survived by the pronghorn) and the giraffids arose from the palaeomerycids.[7] The earliest known giraffid was Climacoceras, which still resembled deer, having large antler-like ossicones. It first appeared in the early Miocene epoch. Later examples include the genera Palaeotragus (from which the okapi arose) and Samotherium, which appeared in the early-to-mid-Miocene. They were both tall at the shoulder, and had developed the simple, unbranched ossicones of modern giraffids, but still had relatively short necks.[8] From the late Pliocene onwards, the variety of giraffids drastically declined. The genus Bohlinia entered China and northern India due to climate change and the genus Giraffa arose and included a number of other long-necked species. Around 7 mya, Giraffa giraffes entered Africa via Ethiopia.[7] Further climate changes caused the extinction of the Asian giraffes while the African giraffes survived and radiated into several different species,[7] such as Giraffa jumae, which do not survive today.[8] G. camelopardalis arose around 1 mya in East Africa.

        yup, I think the evidence is there to support it.

        October 5, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
    • Evolver

      Read "The Greatest Show on Earth" by Richard Dawkins. The evidence for evolution it overwhelming in quantity and quality. Evolution is an established scientific fact that has been observed and measured both in nature and in controlled laboratory experiments.

      October 4, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
      • frespech

        and yet 2000 modified genetic tests on generations of fruitflies produced nothing but fruitflies.

        October 4, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • Zombie

      So you have never heard of the fossil record?

      October 7, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
      • Johnakim Lucien

        How does this fossil record coincide with a dog may bury some years ago?

        October 7, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  12. lol@religion

    I am honestly astonished that this many people are still religious. Oh that is right the only time they have the balls to say anything is when they are sitting behind their computers. Because I know tons of Christians that have no argument when I bring up factual scientifically proven points. They tend to just stare with a blank gaze on their face realizing that they have no idea what they are talking about and are in way over their heads.

    October 4, 2011 at 10:55 am |
    • DuoMax

      Some people believe in evolution and still have faith - I don't see why people have to be completely one-dimensional, let alone mean spirited in the matter. If causality didn't exist until the big bang, what caused the big bang? The Big Bang, creation of the Universe and existence or non existence of God without causality is really beyond us corporeals to understand. I see faith as a reasonable way to fill the gap.

      October 4, 2011 at 11:08 am |
      • Neal

        Darwinism is just bad science. From a honest observer, it has been falsified. However, it's proponents won't allow it to be. It's not like we even need to try and reconcile it with faith in a creator God. Darwinists want to make it into a fight between "science" and religion, but Darwinism itself is more faith and religion than good science.

        October 4, 2011 at 11:15 am |
      • I'm The Best!

        @ DuoMax
        "If causality didn't exist until the big bang, what caused the big bang?" I'm sorry, but don't you see the irony in that statement? It's like saying 'What caused the thing that made causality something that's needed'.

        I dissagree with the rest of what you said too but kudos to you for actually giving it some thought.

        October 4, 2011 at 11:18 am |
      • TAK

        The gap shrinks every day...

        October 4, 2011 at 11:24 am |
      • I'm The Best!

        @ Neal,
        I'd love to know how Darwinism has been falsified. Out of everything I've ever heard, Darwinism makes the most logical sense. Even if it didn't describe why everything is the way it is today, which it does, it would still be the most logical explination because it's the only one with actual proof. Like the fossil record.

        October 4, 2011 at 11:25 am |
      • DuoMax

        @I'm The Best!
        I am fully aware of the paradox, hence my comment that it is beyond the comprehension of corporeal beings - perhaps some day we will evolve such that we may understand?

        October 4, 2011 at 11:29 am |
      • Neal

        I'm the best– Where to start with the falsification? Too little space and time here, but to your main point - the fossil record. While Darwinism has accommodated the fossil record (punctuated equilibrium, etc), that is what it is.. accommodation. Honestly the fossil record shows a history of infrequent and abrupt appearances of creatures with very different body plans followed by long periods of stasis with some bounded variation. The fossil record does not support gradualism. Now, with genetic studies underway, they are finding that genetic seqences don't jive with the phylogenetic classifications based on morphology. Fossils, of course, don't come with birth certificates or arrows pointing back to their supposed ancestors. Evolutionists try to accommodate and defend the fossil record at all costs, but it is far from a strong confirmation of it... unless one assumes evolution to be a fact first. When one is taken in by the mind sucking Darwinian vortex, then honest observation of the data is nearly impossible.

        October 4, 2011 at 11:43 am |
      • I'm The Best!

        @ DuoMax
        That would be great if we can eventually get to the point where we can understand what happened. I would love to know as a fact how the universe started and what was going on at the very beginning. But I guess I'll just take the theories for now.

        My whole thing is most people will say that since science doesn't know the answer then god did it. We may not yet know how the universe began, but I can be pretty sure that it didn't need a god to start it.

        October 4, 2011 at 11:47 am |
      • I'm The Best!

        @ Neal,
        You're looking at this backwards. Evolution is the best way to explain the fossil record, people aren't using the fossil record to explian evolution. You say there are holes in it, which there are, but that's because the fossils just haven't been found and there may not be any, it's pretty rare to find something fossilized just because they need such a specific environment for that to happen.

        You say the fossil record doesn't support gradualism, but evolution doesn't claim it will always be gradual. If there is no need to evolve a lot to your environment to live, then it will only be very little things that will evolve. And the fossil record does support this.

        Evolution is the best theory to explain the fossil record. We aren't saying it's perfect, but creationism has WAY more holes in it than evolution. Evolution is the best theory that's out there and it matches up with germ theory as well as explain many fossils. So unless you have some extra info you're holding back, then evolution is still the most logical explination for the variety of life on this planet.

        Also, what I've read is the work going on in genetics very much helping to prove evolution. It all makes sense to the scientists that are working on it.

        October 4, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
      • Neal

        I'm the best – the "holes" you speak of in the fossil record are more like canyons. It is convenient, of course, to say that the fossils haven't been found or weren't formed. That's not a confirmation of evolution, its merely a weak defense of it. The other possibility is that the immense number of transitional creatures that Darwin expected never existed in the first place! Some strata have been looked at pretty thoroughly over the last 200 years, such as the Cambrian. The fossil record in the Cambrian is actually very good. But, you're showing signs of having been drawn into the mind sucking Darwinian vortex. From the perspective of the vortex, whatever is found or not found in the fossil record doesn't make much difference. A herd of buffalo could be found in the Cambrian strata and evolutionists would somehow accommodate it. You seem to be quite interested in the subject. I'd like to invite you to an ongoing blog on the subject: http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/. Hope to see you there sometime!

        October 4, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
      • I'm The Best!

        @ Neal
        Alright then, I have to ask, what is your explination for the fossil record? All the "in-between" species from prehistoric ape to modern man? I'd like to know because as it stands now, evolution is the best explination for it. Evolution may not have been proved without a doubt, but there is still much more evidence for it than for creationism.

        With science, you go with a theory that has the most proof, and if you make another theory that fits the facts better then that one replaces the old one. So if you think there is a better theory out there, I would definitely like to know it.

        October 4, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
      • Josh

        @Neal & I'mtheBest
        I'm curious neal how you think the fossil record "falsifies" evolution. The definition of evolution is that populations of organisms change over time. Within that definition, evolution most certainly occurs. The process of HOW evolution occurs is still being widely debated and uses several methodologies to try and make sense of all of the data that exists. For instance, you make an argument that some fossil strata have been thoroughly examined. Less than 1% of the available strata on the planet have been truly examined for fossils. Humans tend to go to areas where fossils are easy to acquire. We haven't done much exploration of areas that are deep underwater, nor have we dug up entire cities just to see what's underneath. So the fact that we discovered thousands of species in the fossil record while only examining a minute section of our planet isn't that surprising. It will take thousands of years to truly discover every fossil that is on our planet. So saying the fossil record we have is incomplete is kind of like saying a baseball game that's in the 5th inning is incomplete.
        Also, you discuss genetic and morphological theories for species classification. The morphological system is being superceded by a system based on genetic phylogenetic relationships. But the relative importance of using such a system to look at macroevolution over long time scales in which we have no genuine DNA to compare the genetic relationships of dinosaurs is not applicable. So using other species concepts like the morphological species concept are still valid.
        Next, you have the argument that evoution can't occur. There are two types of evolution, microevolution and macroevolution. What you call "evolution" is actually macroevolution, the ideas about how one species turn into another species. Microevolution is concerned with how populations change over time in what Darwin termed their "heritable factors." We know these factors today as genes and DNA. We also have a tremendous amount of evidence about how genes change over time within populations. These changes can be shown in as little time as a few weeks, if looking at bacteria. I suggest reading on MRSA for an excellent example of how humans caused the evolution of Staphylococcus aureus into MRSA. We have thousands of experiments confirming microevolution in addition to the above example.
        Macroevolution then asks questions along the lines of: if populations' genetics change over time and these changes allow the population to adapt to changes in the environment how does that affect the creation and extinction of species? Since ANY adaptation can be potentially beneficial the answer is that there are thousands of routes to creating a new species. The mechanisms that these routes take however do have common mechanisms such as natural selection, sexual selection, random mutation, and bottleneck effects. It also means that sooner or later any individual species probably won't be able to evolve fast enough to meet changing environmental realities and goes extinct. The fossil record most emphatically shows that there are bunches of species that no longer are found on this planet, lending support to the the concepts of evolution.
        In all, you give one piece of mostly incomplete evidence as support for evolution being fiction. But to truly understand evolution, you have to start at the beginning and read a tremendous amount about many different areas of research to get an understanding of their impact on the developing ideas of evolution. But the fundamental aspects of evolution that Darwin posited: that species change over time, that in nature certain inheritable traits that confer an advantage on certain members of a population are passed on to more offspring that less advantageous traits, these concepts that form the core of the theory of evolution have been proven beyond a doubt to be true and have been rigorously tested in thousands of falsifiable experiments over the past 150 years.

        October 4, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
      • Neal

        Josh, "evolution" has at least eight definitions in science. When I say evolution, I mean it as the blind-watchmaker "goo to you" definition. Professional evolutionists usually mash micro and macro together to reach their unsupported definition of evolution. The big picture evolution definition seemlessly and without explanation puts the two together... Frank's beak is bigger than George's and all life evolved from a common ancestor.

        Evolution can and does accommodate any finding. It is not allowed to be falsified.

        Life supposedly evolved gradually, except when it doesn't.
        Evolution predicted life forms in a nested hierarchy pattern, except when it isn't.
        Morphological phylogenies match genetic phylogenies except when they don't
        Life is inefficient, clumsy, and stupidly put together except when it is efficient, elegant and pure genius.
        And on and on...

        And of course ,the emotional foundation and religious basis for Darwinism is: A God wouldn't have created life this way, so evolution is a fact. Join us at the Darwins God blog for more!

        October 4, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
      • roz

        Are you harping on the "who created the universe without a creator?" I always find that answer astounding in light of the obvious follow-up: "Who created the Creator?" Oh! But, I forget! He existed forever without end, then, 6,000 years ago, he got bored of sitting around in the dark of the endless void and decided he'd had enough with not having anyone to yak to but himself (or a threesome of himself) and created a plethora of humans and angels; those angels that were not as perfect as he'd hoped because they were every bit as consumed by passions as their human counterparts and he had to toss all the ingrates out of heaven and into hell with his once-favorite, Lucifer to judge his once beloved humans, who also thumbed their noses at him. He shoulda just stayed mumbling to himself in the void.

        October 4, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
      • Josh

        @Neal
        Please list those definitions. Evolution has one definition that I teach. Evolution means populations of organisms change over time. And you don't understand the concept of falsifiable. There are many hypotheses that are falsified after experiment shown them to be incorrect. Evolution is an explanation of a wide set of observations and data. That's why its called a theory. Scientific theories mean that they are the most comprehensive manner of explanation science can possible put forward. Evolutionary theory has clearly demonstrated how the process of evolution works on multiple occasions. To falsify "evolution" you have demonstrate that nothing evolves EVER. Again I refer to the MRSA example as one very clear-cut demonstration that evolution does in fact occur. What you seem to lack an understanding of is that no scientific discipline claims to have a complete and total answer to every question that exists. Science is a process and scientific theories are merely our best explanations that take into account all of the available evidence and explanations for everything in a particular field and also allows us to make predictions about new observations that made. In that respect, Evolutionary theory most certainly has been a valid scientific theory.
        Also, what is this goo to which you are referring? You are adept at using catchphrases which are entirely meaningless. Yes, evolutionary theory says that humans are descended from a common ancestor with other organisms. But evolutionary theory has very little to say about how the first cell developed and what paths were taken to get there. In the case of how life came to be you'd be looking at primarily the RNA world hypothesis currently. Evolution plays a role in understanding this hypothesis, but the fields of geology, chemistry, physics, and stellar mechanics play a much larger role is trying to understand life's origins. The two subjects are NOT the same thing and never have been in science. From everything I've been able to tell the confusion of life's origins and evolution is what gets most religious individuals all riled up.
        Next, as I already stated for your morphological phylogenies arguement. That is one method for looking at data. Humans are imperfect animals and so we have to classify data to gain understanding of its relationships. How to classify data is a field in a of itself. In biology we call this taxonomy. To be more clear, taxonomy is the science of grouping organisms based on their relationships. For instance, all dogs are grouped together because they look the same. Cats are given a different group because they look similar to dogs, but not exactly the same. That also encompasses the morphological species concept to classifying organisms. Since the advent of molecular biology approaches, we have been able to look at species DNA sequences to see how similar they to each other. We also did this with individuals and found that those who are related to each share the most sequences in common. So the idea is extended to species; species who are most closely related should also share the most sequences in common. And one of the surprises we found is that some species that look similar aren't necessarily related to each other. It's like having a second person you know look almost exactly like you but the two of you aren't actually related. So with the development of new technology biologists had to rethink the way we classify organisms. That has lead to decreased use of the morphological species concept and increased use of the genetic species concept in classifying organisms. They are NOT mutually exclusive but their application but has to be intelligently applied. Just about every example you give demonstrates a clear lack of understanding about how these concepts actually relate to each other.
        For a second instance of how you butcher meaning: evolution predicts that all organisms arise from a common ancestor. That is this concept of a nested tree to which you refer. Biologists use this concept because every single organism on the planet uses the same DNA, RNA and amino acids to make the building blocks of cells. Also, every organism reproduces offspring without exception. So in thinking about a family tree, you have parents you also have parents, who have parents, etc. Each generation's parents have siblings who also produce offspring. That's how humans are related to each other. Examining DNA, we find species are related in the same manner. Sometimes, we don't know who the "parents" of a particular group are because we haven't collected every single piece of available information on the entire planet yet. But the fact that we can say that the group of species we classify as being birds are descendants of dinosaurs doesn't inherently go against the fact that we can't tell you who that "parents" of a group of amphibians might have been. All that means is that we haven't acquired enough data yet. Evolutionary theory states that some group of organisms were the "parents" of our group of amphibians. That is a testable hypothesis. That same testable hypothesis was made for birds. Then as evidence was accumulated, it demonstrated that a group of dinosaurs have the correct anatomy and physiology to be the "parents" of the group of bird "offspring."
        I have a feeling Neal that you read some book that tells you these things without ever having sat down and read any book on evolution or you would be able to give me a concrete example of how evolution doesn't work. Because your examples all run along the lines of: "The sun either shines or it doesn't." The fact is both parts of my statement are true, but only if you take into account a factor left totally unmentioned (TIME).

        October 4, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
      • Neal

        roz, no one created the Creator. God is eternal and without a beginning so He did not need a cause. Only the stuff that begins has a cause. Follow quickly here: The universe had a beginning, and the most reasonable explanation is creation by an eternal God. An infinity of universes is logically impossible, since infinity is not actually real, but exists conceptually only. Also, some eternal non-intelligent state that created our universe doesn't float either, because it can't decide when to create a universe. Since it's eternal – the non-intelligent forces and state that created our universe would have existed eternally too... but our universe had a definite beginning and is not eternal. In the beginning God created the heaven and earth.

        October 4, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
      • I'm The Best!

        @ Josh
        Thanks for jumping in, you seem to know a lot more about this stuff than I do.

        @ Neal
        You really think the most reasonable explination of the beginning of the universe is an eternal god? Not even close. IN science it's always best to look at something as a closed system, and if you can keep out any external influence on this closed system and it runs by itself then that's the best way of describing what's going on inside of that system. If you look at the universe as a closed system then there is no god that is needed throughout the entire life of the universe, it can just as easily gotten to where it is on it's own.

        So taking into account that no god is needed for the universe to run, if you can think of one example (which scientists have thought of many) where you don't need a god to start the universe, then one of those are the most reasonable explination.

        Why introduce a god into a universe that doesn't need a god to work?

        October 4, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
      • Jason

        Neal, the majority of the educated world and about 100% of the scientific community knows that evolution is a fact. The only people that doesn't believe in it are those who don't know what it is about.

        October 4, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
      • Neal

        Josh, here are some of the meanings of evolution found in biology textbooks:

        Change over time; changes in the frequencies of alleles in the gene pool of a population; the concept that particular groups of organisms have descended from a common ancestor; the mechanisms of change required to produce limited
        descent with modification – natural selection acting on random variations or mutations; Universal common descent: the idea that all organisms have descended from a single common ancestor.

        And of course, the blind watchmaker definition – all organisms have descended from common ancestors solely through an unguided, unintelligent, purposeless material processes.

        And the "goo to you" definition which incorporates the blind watchmaker definition plus abiogensis and chemical evolution. This is, of course pop culture vocabulary, but I often prefer this since it gets right down to business and at its heart evolution is an emotional and metaphysical thing with some scientific camo.

        The way you use it is the benign, because who would argue that stuff doesn't change? Beak sizes change, we can grow bigger tomatoes, bacteria can digest nylon... who would argue with that? But, is that all you mean? Do you teach the blind watchmaker (maybe not by that term) concept?

        October 4, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
      • Neal

        Jason, nearly all scientists used to hold to spontaneous generation and geocentrism too. You're framing an argument from authority, but there do exist a good number of very qualified scientists who don't agree with you. What to do with them and all the nasty contradictions and exceptions within the theory of evolution itself. The popular evolutionary books put a happy face on evolution, but the details of evolution are vague, sloppy and begging for more details. But, it is nearly impossible to escape the mind sucking Darwinian vortex. It borders on insanity.

        October 4, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
      • Paulwisc

        Neal, you have it exactly backwards. It is the religious who chose to make it a conflict between evolution and religion.

        The word you really needed to use was 'disproved' and no, evolution has not been disproved but rather supported by over a century of research. Religion, on the other hand, has absolutely no proof - only faith.

        October 4, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
      • Neal

        According to research by the British journal of the history of science Darwin used religion extensively within the Origin of Species as positive evidence for his theory. It was not simply a response to critics but part of the whole cloth of his theory. A read of Origin makes this no secret.

        October 4, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
      • Josh

        @Neal
        No scientist ever teaches that evolution is unguided, unintelligent, or purposeless. The changes in populations are random, but natural selection is the farthest things from being random. Natural selection states the organisms with the best adaptations leave behind the mos0t offspring changing their population as whole for the better. Organisms become better adapted to their environment over time even if the processes that introduce variations are random. So evolution's "purpose" is to make organisms that can survive better. Whether there has to be an intelligence behind this is more of a religious or spiritual question. According to science random events are by their definition unrepeatable. But if you believe in a guiding force causing single mutations that then create specific gene patterns that results in the creation of a new species of bird, or human, you are free to. Science can't prove or disprove that. The explanation is supernatural and belongs in the realm of religion or philosophy. I personally am a theistic evolutionist. I believe God acts through natural processes, whose rules are known. Since God is omnipotent, he knows what mutations at what times will produce certain species by the process of evolution. But that's religious because I can't prove that my version of how God works using repeatable experimental techniques.

        As to the definitions of evolution, those are descriptive of the mechanics of evolution. My original definition of populations changing over time is more aptly the definition of biological evolution. And one of the reasons that several explanations exist is because our understanding of how populations evolve has changed as we gain new information. When Darwin first developed the theory he had no idea about DNA. He used the term heritable factors. He also postulated that those heritable factors would always give an intermediate phenotype, for instance, mating red and white flowers would give you pink flower offspring, which we now know certainly isn't the case.. You are correct that change over time is the general definition of evolution as applies to everything. For instance, Niagara Falls evolves. Apparently the falls have moved a few hundred feet from the time they were first recorded by european explorers.
        My primary complaint with anyone is saying that evolution isn't scientific. The Theory of Evolution follows all of the tenets of science. And scientifically speaking, no one has come up with a better theory to describe how and why organisms are the way that they are. Anyone who disagrees with evolution on a religious or philosophical basis is free to do so. But evolution is a part of science and gives a set of valid explanations about many aspects of biology that have withstood every single test that scientists have come up with to this point in time. The only way to overcome the theory of evolution is to have a competing scientific theory that equally explains every aspect of biology the way the theory evolution does. So far, there are zero theories like that.

        October 4, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
    • Lol@lol@religion

      lulz

      October 4, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • mike hunt

      yea, i should deffinitly stop thinking there is a God because women are having children earlier :o\

      October 4, 2011 at 11:37 am |
      • Josh

        @Mike,
        I'm a theistic evolutionist. I believe God does all of his work through natural processes like evolution. There are many paths to believing what you want to believe. But just because you believe in God doesn't mean you can't support evolution or vice versa. If you choose to believe that evolution doesn't occur that's your business, but it is possible to reconcile religion and science and I do encourage everyone to try to do that!

        October 4, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • lol@religion

      My comment has nothing to do with this article, I was just reading through and was extremely amused by all the people who still believe in Christianity. Considering that most everything that is in the Bible is stolen from other religions, cultures, or stories all throughout history. I find it hard to respect someone who believes in some supreme being who just decided to create life, get over your arrogant ways of thinking and realize that us as a species are not significant. When you die nothing is going to happen. Your body will eventually decompose and that will be all, the human mind tends to think that we must have some purpose because we cannot cope with the fact that we have no other purpose but to reproduce just the same as every other species. One day when we are extinct, because it will happen since 99.9% of all the species that ever inhabited this planet are now extinct, I hope that we can leave behind enough teachings for the next intelligent species to not be as arrogant as us.

      October 4, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
      • frespech

        Personally under this premise I see little need for a developing brain.

        October 4, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • Saboth

      Why are you surprised? Religion is on the rise if anything. America is turning into a theocracy. Just look anywhere...politicians are so set on catering to the religious right, they are ignoring real problems in order to further ostracize minorities like gays.

      October 4, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
      • lol@religion

        It's not that it surprises. I guess it is more that I am amazed that such a far fetched idea is still so deeply seated within this country.

        October 4, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
      • Isaac

        @ Lol@religion – if anything, this proves your disconnect from the majority. If we only listen to the 1% we will be shocked (as you are) that there are others who have such 'old-school' ideas. You can bah humbug at religion and faith in an uncreated God, but the truth is you are just as dogmatic in your beliefs as anyone of faith is. You my friend are just as religious as any other, only your religion is one of scientific theory, praise of self, and worship of man's achievements. You tout Darwinism as a the badge of proof for the self reliance of mankind, but scoff at the idea that someone would base their beliefs and life in something greater than themselves, thereby naming yourself the hypocrite.

        October 5, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
      • fimeilleur

        Oh Isaac,

        That claim about our disbelief in your version of god is like a religion, is akin to saying not collecting stamps is a hobby.

        October 5, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
      • Isaac

        Not quite. The issue that I'm hitting is dogmatism. Can we agree that both of us are just as dogmatic in our beliefs? You've been told something from your youth, and so have I. Unless something jolts our minds and beliefs we will most likely continue to believe what we currently do regardless of this bantering. Do you agree with that statement?

        October 5, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
      • Dan

        No Isaac, there's no reason to agree with that statement. If new evidence comes about fimeilleur will update his beliefs appropriately. There is no evidence or scenario which will change your beliefs.

        October 5, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
      • fimeilleur

        No, in the face of new evidence to the contrary of my "beliefs", I will change them, as I have done in the past and will continue to do so in the future. For example... if they find the elusive croc-o-duck, or the pre-cambrian rabbit... I will be the first to throw the theory of evolution under the bus... because these two examples will DESTROY the theory. 150 years of searching... and the theory is still strong.

        How 'bout you? If I can show you one instance in your bible that is "wrong"... just one... thus proving that the Bible is NOT 100% true... will you walk away from that dogmatic belief?

        before you commit your answer... what was the colour of the robe that the Roman soldiers placed on Jesus before the cruxifiction? (please provide your reference)

        October 5, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • frespech

      Isn't it astounding that still 70 % of individuals believe in God. Yet you 30% continue to pretend that you are the ones that have the intellect and answers because Dawkins imagines it to be.

      October 4, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • frespech

      If you want to argue which seems more to the point of your posts then introduce some Jehovahs witnessess into your home. How about providing us with at least one of your so called facts so we can at least judge for ourselves its credability. How long can a porpoise live out of water before it dies? Long enough to evolve? I doubt it.

      October 4, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
      • fairytaleland

        Wow this is a typical response from a brainwashed Christian. If you want facts why don't you just start reading some and do your own research to realize everything you believe in is complete and utter bullshit. I promise you that if you just take a little bit of time and educate yourself rather than just sit back in your ignorance is bliss lifestyle you will find how silly your lifestyle and beliefs really are.

        October 4, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  13. DuoMax

    We may be coming to an evolutionary crossroads as modern medicine allows for the prolonging of life of those with genetic disorders, permitting them to breed and pass on their faulty or less-adapted genes. Eugenics while unsavory, may be all but inevitable.

    October 4, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • Larry

      While some genetic changes prove to be destructive (autosomal recessive diseases such as sickle cell disease and cystic fibrosis for example), there are some protective effects of the genetic variations. Sickle cell trait is actually protective against malaria.

      October 4, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
  14. Silvia

    Just wanted to comment on Stearns answer to the question of winged super heros.And that no human has ever mutated in a way tha produced a pair of extra appendages. And I am proof I was born with 6 fingers. I know its not wings but 6 fingers makes 1 extra.And I know I am not the only one.

    October 4, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • Inigo Montoya

      Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.

      October 4, 2011 at 11:28 am |
      • JayBee

        So win.

        October 4, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
      • Chubbs Peterson

        Ok. I just shot milk out of my nose!

        October 4, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  15. Quid Malmborg in Plano, TX

    The article is only partly true. Creationists, religious fundies, and Tea Baggers do not evolve and, therefore, will eventually become extinct. Unfortunately they will continue to reproduce, but perhaps (hopefully) their offspring will succeed where they failed.

    See, I'm an optimist.

    October 4, 2011 at 10:49 am |
  16. MarylandBill

    Perhaps the actual scientific paper is better, but from this article, I can only say that the evidence presented barely suggests anything to do with evolution. Essentially if the article is to believed, they are suggesting that because a correlation can be found between menstruation and first births, that the reverse must be true (i.e., that if women are giving birth earlier, it must be because they are menstruating). And even if that is true, there are a whole host of environmental factors that can impact that as well, such as diet. They also don't appear to correct for what probably provides a bigger correlation to age of first birth than than menstruation, which is age of marriage. While people were hardly saints, out of wedlock children were somewhat less common back then than they are now. Therefore, if people were waiting to their early to mid 20s to marry... and later started marrying in their late teens to early 20s... well there you could explain it all.

    October 4, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • Richest1

      Well put

      October 4, 2011 at 11:48 am |
    • Morteza

      I agree with you, it looks like a flawed argument by not presenting alternative possibilities and proving the causation. Common sense would also suggest that such a dramatic jump would occur through thousands of years rather than a few hundred years.

      October 4, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
  17. Neal

    This study does nothing to support the "goo to you" fairy tale commonly known as evolution. Variation within bounds happens all the time as species adapt to their environment. Unbounded change, like humans growing wings, is the stuff of fairy tales... whether you give it 10 minutes on a TV show or 100 million years. It is fully expected that the average reproduction age will swing back and forth depending on the environment. No big deal... yawn. Darwianism is a mind sucking vortex for those that fall prey to it. May science be freed from it.

    October 4, 2011 at 10:32 am |
  18. Jimbo

    We are de-evolving just like 'Idiocrazy'. We give people with an IQ of 80 all the means necessary to reproduce like rabbits while the intelligent people realize that the earth cannot sustain such a population and either don't have kids or just have one. Entitlement programs are going to be the end of smart humans.

    October 4, 2011 at 10:31 am |
    • Neal

      Elite snobs that think they are smarter clutter the comment sections of these articles multiply like rabbits too. What to do with you?

      October 4, 2011 at 10:35 am |
    • I'm The Best!

      I posted this just a little while ago but I'll do it again,...

      It may look like we're heading towards idiocracy but that's not actually true. Average IQ's are steadily getting higher with each generation. You just have to realize that half the people in the world are below average, and those are usually the ones you hear about. i.e. the Darwin Awards and political office.

      (not exact quote but...) Anyone smart enough to be president is smart enough not to run for it. -hitchhikers guide to the galaxy

      October 4, 2011 at 10:38 am |
    • Jimbo

      Neal, it appears to me the elite ruling class snobs are the ones who think they have the right to take money from the hard worker and hand it over to the welfare state to allow them to keep reproducing.

      October 4, 2011 at 10:45 am |
      • Neal

        Eugenics is not the answer. It's been tried... from the eugenics movement in the US in the early 20th century and culminating with Hitler. Darwin thought that blacks were between gorillas and Elite Englishmen with white beards. He thought that women were inferior in intelligence to men. He also suffered from anxiety and depression. Should people prone to depression be forbidden to marry? Cut them off from medicare? Where does it stop? Who decides once you start to go down that road?

        October 4, 2011 at 11:11 am |
  19. Ericl

    If this is the best proof they have then that is the last nail in the evolution-is-lame theory. WOW, I didn't realize scientists were this dumb. Because people are having kids earlier is probably more about falling MORALS than mortality, lol. What a stupid conclusion for evolutionists. Face it, you are dead WRONG.

    October 4, 2011 at 10:22 am |
    • Dr.K.

      I bet there are many many things you do not realize...

      October 4, 2011 at 10:25 am |
    • Joe

      Counter point to your argument (not that I know the cultural trends of this specific Island). I would have assumed the opposite of this study, because in 1799 I would have assumed women were force to marry at a very young age and would have therfore had kids at a younger age.

      As is often told and cited, young women, not that long ago, were told to marry and start having kids. No careers, just marriage and babies. Most likely resulting in marriage at 18 and kids soon there after. If you told me it took women in the 1800s eight years to get pregnant I would have been shocked.

      Also to note, the initial records are curch records, which would lead me to believe this is/was a religious presense/role in many of these women's life.

      October 4, 2011 at 10:40 am |
    • OG

      Calling it stupid and then stating it is dead is not a compelling argument.

      October 4, 2011 at 10:41 am |
    • Saboth

      Yes, every problem in our country is due to lack of "morals". I hope we vote in some good honest politicians to legislate our morals for us. I'm currently running around having sex with a duck (gay) while strangling a baby in each hand. I simply don't know any better. Please someone help me figure it out.

      October 4, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
  20. ...

    How controversial that the church allowed scientists to study evolution... Anyways, even the scientist in this article has a great misconception about how evolution works.. Evolution does exist, its just much more suddle than everyone realizes.. And it is definately long term.

    October 4, 2011 at 9:51 am |
    • MarylandBill

      Why would it be controversial? The Catholic Church has no problem with the notion that the biological form of humans might have evolved.

      October 4, 2011 at 10:40 am |
    • Laughing at stupidity

      That's subtle not suddle LOL

      October 4, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
  21. Dr.K.

    I have never understood why "are you humans still evolving?" is a question. There is nothing in evolutionary theory that suggests the process ever stops. It's just another example of how special we see ourselves as humans. The degree of worldwide genetic exchange over the last 200 years is almost certainly unprecedented in human evolution. Variation in the distribution of genes among populations IS evolution.

    October 4, 2011 at 9:41 am |
    • Dr.K.

      I meant to write "are humans still evolving?" My bad.

      October 4, 2011 at 9:49 am |
      • DustyA

        Yes we are changing; but are we evolving or devolving? That is to say, as we save more people with poor genetic material from death, and maybe rightfully so. Are we keeping the poor genetic material and passing to our collective offspring? I do not advocate genocide, I only offer that people who might not have had children are given a chance to pass their genetic material to another generation thru in-vitro or other methods. Is this really evolution; natural selection has been replaced with better medicine and the weaker genetic material goes on instead of being a victim to natural selection. Also, there is a direct correlation to poverty and offspring in that the cycle of poverty is continued with increasing numbers of children born to poverty and keeping the cycle in place. Not so sure that there is anything factual to the study; just somebody using numbers again to suit their needs. I again am talking scientifically and not theologically. This also does not necessarily relay my beliefs but is put out to consider as another opinion.

        October 4, 2011 at 11:03 am |
      • Professor Xavier

        @DustyA

        There is no such thing as 'devolving', evolution does not have a set point, it does not always get "better", it only fits to the environment present. Thus if fat, lazy and stupid consumers is what produces the best outcome of reproduction and survival, then humanity will evolve into a fat, lazy, stupid animal, because that is exactly what the environment prefers. From our standpoint, we would see that as a downgrade, but nature does not share our biases.

        October 4, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
      • Dr.K.

        You beat me to it, Professor. Yes, there is no such thing as "devolving." Evolution is not progressive or directional. Evolving away from complexity is still evolution.

        October 4, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • Also Chris

      I agree. It's a bit too soon to tell at this point, but I think the advent of rapid transit will have a profound impact on human evolution. Even just seventy-five years ago, the concept of travel to another continent typically involved vast financial resources and weeks of travel time. Today, any idiot with five hundred dollars and a free weekend can go to Europe or Japan or anywhere in between. That may seem inconsequential on the surface, but think of it in biological terms: essentially, there are no longer geographical barriers between any human populations. It's like having many different populations of chimpanzees, separated by huge rivers for millennia, suddenly being reunited. The potential for various unique genetic markers to spread throughout the human species is astounding. Things like resistance to malaria, lower incidence of cancer, and stronger immune systems may prove to be prime factors in human evolution in the coming centuries.

      October 4, 2011 at 9:49 am |
    • Nice try.

      Your little slip has revealed you for the extra-terrestrial you really are.

      And I, for one, welcome our new alien overlords!

      October 4, 2011 at 10:10 am |
  22. Melissa

    Of course humans are still evolving. Saying otherwise just says that most people are stupid. And thats the problem. We're evolving physically adapting to the environment, and mentally we're turning into an idiocracy where the stupid rule.

    October 4, 2011 at 9:22 am |
    • I'm The Best!

      It may look like we're heading towards idiocracy but that's not actually true. Average IQ's are steadily getting higher with each generation. You just have to realize that half the people in the world are below average, and those are usually the ones you hear about. i.e. the Darwin Awards and political office.

      (not exact quote but...) Anyone smart enough to be president is smart enough not to run for it. -hitchhikers guide to the galaxy

      October 4, 2011 at 9:30 am |
  23. Chris

    It is only reasonable that evolution in humans would be ongoing. There's nothing "perfect" about us. In particular, I would expect to see natural selection for more robust spines, hips, and knees, all of which are still poorly adapted to bipedalism. We may also one day have improved immune systems, given our proclivity for spreading epidemics. It is also unfortunately reasonable that evolutionary processes have slowed in humans, due to our knack for using technology to adapt to our environment rather than subject ourselves to the full force of its selective pressures. On the other hand, the human brain is subject to more pressure than ever these days, from information overload, and from the stress and pressure of so-called "modern life". I don't know what the future will bring, but I'm sure humans will either continue to change, or disappear outright.

    October 4, 2011 at 9:12 am |
    • Also Chris

      "for more robust spines, hips, and knees, all of which are still poorly adapted to bipedalism."

      From a strictly engineering point of view, you're completely off-base here. The human hip, pelvis, and spine are supremely adapted for bipedalism. There is no analogue in nature for any other organism that is adapted to bipedalism to the extent that humans are. The evolutionary changes involved in these mechanisms are staggering. The pelvis had to adapt to support our internal organs, whereas in quadrupedal organisms, the rib cage serves this function. Our hips are a marvel of biological engineering; the range of motion is unmatched in any other mammal. Our spines are also remarkable load-bearing structures. You do realize that your lumbar spine supports the weight of your entire body above the waist, don't you? I think you need to go back to school and take a few more evolutionary biology courses. If you ever took any in the first place, which I doubt.

      October 4, 2011 at 9:37 am |
      • ehh..not quite

        In order for evolution to occur, there has to be a random mutation within a population which then gets carried through by natural selection or sexual selection. I haven't seen a random mutation for any of these characteristics as of yet, so I don't think so. Also, even if there was a random mutation for these things, it would be hard to imagine these "evolved versions" of ourselves being able to reproduce and carry on these traits.

        October 4, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • Josh

      I agree with Chris. Evolution is putting more pressure on the brain then the body in out capitalistic society. This is a huge departure from our past . Plenty of buff guys are in jail. In the future the strong will be the slender, and weak, but eloquent , diplomatic and brilliant thinkers that can run companies, successfully win business and thrive economically. We will all have big heads and skinny bodies like aliens in the next few hundred years and those buff guys will go the way of neanderthals....

      October 4, 2011 at 10:53 am |
  24. Katie

    Can you say BS scientific research study??? I sure can, I can smell it a mile away and this one stinks...

    October 4, 2011 at 9:11 am |
    • Dr.K.

      Wow, you've evolved the ability to evaluate the quality of research that you almost certainly do not completely comprehend using the sense of smell. Fascinating.

      October 4, 2011 at 9:46 am |
    • Philo

      Absolutely! Not only is this is NOT 'evolutionary' science, IMHO, it isn't 'science' at all!

      October 4, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  25. Faith

    Adaptation is not evolution. This is far from evidence of evolution. Humans tend to over look the simple answers – like we were just created the way we are – that is just too simple to comprehend.

    October 4, 2011 at 9:07 am |
    • MCM

      Considering your first sentence is wrong, I'm not inclined to believe the rest.

      October 4, 2011 at 9:20 am |
      • Neal

        Oh those slippery, devilish definitions of evolution. Evolutionists can go from adaption to "goo to you" faster than a magician can play shell games.

        October 4, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • Superhamster!

      Faith, adaptation is the process that makes organisms better suited to their habitat. It also is one of the primary components of evolution. Come on, Faith. Read more, learn more, be more.

      October 4, 2011 at 9:24 am |
    • foxhound

      No it's not that simple. Who created the creator?

      October 4, 2011 at 9:28 am |
      • Daniel

        Who is to say there was/is ONE "creator"? Why not two? Or three? Or more? How can this even be tested or proven/disproven? And isn't that one of the primary requirements of science?

        October 4, 2011 at 10:05 am |
      • Josh

        @Daniel,
        Religion by its very nature deals with those things that are supernatural. Science deals only with things that are observable and more importantly repeatable (i.e. the natural world). God is not a "repeatable phenomenon" and therefore is outside the bounds of science to able to confirm or deny. That's just logic.

        October 4, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • JW

      Ancient aliens anyone? Genetic modifications by other intelligences?

      October 4, 2011 at 9:28 am |
    • Daniel

      Adaptation IS part of evolution. If successful, and adaptation has a greater likelihood of being passed on to future generations.

      October 4, 2011 at 10:03 am |
  26. I'm The Best

    Interesting article, not really proving anything but interesting nonetheless. I would like to read the actual study though... And I think all normal, rational people know evolution is still going on.

    October 4, 2011 at 8:54 am |
    • AGuest9

      Unfortunately, there seem to be so few of us these days, based upon posts I've seen on CNN.

      October 4, 2011 at 9:15 am |
  27. AM

    I don't see how this can be considered an example of evolution. The ability to have children has always ranged from teenage years to about 40's or 50's. This is not an example of mutation since the genes for the situation already exist. Rather, this suggests a social change in the area that led to earlier births, maybe earlier marriages. This particular situation is, in my view, inconclusive

    October 4, 2011 at 8:51 am |
    • Judas Priest

      I would be more inclined to look at social or environmental causes long before considering genetic changes as a cause for anything having to do with births. Then again I'm not a geneticist. Give them a hammer and suddenly all out chromosomes look like nails.

      October 4, 2011 at 10:17 am |
  28. durdurp

    Nothing in this article states how we, as humans, have evolved in the slightest. Just because MEDICINE/STERILIZATION has improved and personal morals have gone back to barbaric days. "lets get drunk and have sex" seems to be the motto of the new generations. I'd go as far to say it would be reverse evolution.

    October 4, 2011 at 7:41 am |
    • David

      We wil never truly evolve as long as we race mix and commit incest on a grand scale such as we are now doing.
      We truly do not know how far along the evoloutionary scale we are at. Sure we can have an educated guess but when we race mix with another race then we put evoloution in question/doubt. Incest is one of the main causes of humans getting shorter and shorter. So you know a human has a good set of gene pool when they are tall.

      October 4, 2011 at 7:57 am |
      • Bob

        David, your post was incredibly dumb. Incest was more common centuries ago. And interbreeding among races, which you obviously have a problem with, would promote evolution. Go to school, bro.

        October 4, 2011 at 8:20 am |
      • Brandon M.

        Have you ever read a science book? Humans are getting taller. The average male height is 5'10", the average in the 1800's was 5'7", and the average in the the 1600's was 5'5". It is correct that we are now starting to contract, but that has been directly linked to our poor diet and exercise.

        Also, "race" is a cultural creation. Genetically, you can't tell a difference between "races." Now, those of recent African descent are genetically different from the world since they are 100% Home Sapiens, Europeans are around 3% Neanderthal, and Asians are around 3% Donovinian. With that said, the idea of genetics is to get as much NEW genetic material into the gene pool as possible. You want groups who have encountered diseases, etc. and mutated or natural selected themselves to a better place to mix those genes into your gene pool. Isolated gene pools is what made the Native Americans so susceptible to Small Pox, Africans to HIV (3% of non-African descended population is immune to HIV), etc. You need "race mixing" or your isolated group becomes genetically homogenized, which is BAD!

        October 4, 2011 at 8:47 am |
      • Judas Priest

        Sieg heil, baby. Now crawl back into your little neo-wannabe-nazi jerk hole.

        October 4, 2011 at 10:19 am |
      • Dan

        Great post Brandon. You did miss critiquing the most amusing part of his post though. He simultaneously criticizes incest AND race interbreeding. If anything, avoiding racial interbreeding IS incest.

        October 4, 2011 at 10:21 am |
      • Neal

        Brandon, have you not read the new research that specifically looks at evolution and species size and height? It shows that the changes we observe now are bounded.

        October 4, 2011 at 11:24 am |
    • wasso

      Does evolution mean a natural organic process of evolution or does that definition include some man-machine cyborg or even cross-species hybrids ?

      October 4, 2011 at 8:56 am |
  29. Jorge

    The author must mean de-evolution, as in Idiocracy, not evolution, as in X-Men. Or perhaps de-evolution, such as in the fat, flightless, unfortunate Dodo. One thing seems certain, mankind seems to have risen all it was meant to and perhaps too much on the ladder of evolution, and now it is tottering dizzily, apparently about to fall off.

    October 4, 2011 at 7:40 am |
    • Daniel

      If you knew anything about evolution, you'd know there is no such thing as "de-volution" or an "evolutionary ladder"

      October 4, 2011 at 9:53 am |
  30. peter mills johannesburg

    It is amazing to me that not one of the "evolutionists" remember Charles Darwin's words,pertaining to the following.Charlls Darwin said, THAT IF EVOLUTION HAS NOT BEEN PROVED, BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT WITH IN 100YEARS OF MY DEATH, THEN IT IS, THE WRONG ROAD,meaning quite clearly that he himself was not convinced and i have no doubt that in 10,000 years and more the, Egotistical humans will still be trying to, descredit the GRAND CREATOR, If allows them to hang around that long!!!

    October 4, 2011 at 7:13 am |
    • O.C.

      And with the bible the proof is in the pudding. Right?

      October 4, 2011 at 7:17 am |
      • Superhamster!

        O.C., do not make fun of the Bible. It is a GREAT book, meant to be taken literally. Here's one of my favorite verses from this tome of infinite wisdom: "Yet she increased her prostitution, remembering the days of her youth when she engaged in prostitution in the land of Egypt. She lusted after their genitals as large as those of donkeys, and their seminal emission was as strong as that of stallions."–Ezekiel 23:19-20 NET Hosannah in the highest!

        October 4, 2011 at 9:32 am |
      • Kachoto

        @Superhamster! ... You sir or Ma'am scare me. Religious extremism, whichever kind, is pure ignorance.

        October 4, 2011 at 10:16 am |
      • S1N

        Someone's sarcasm meter is broken.

        October 4, 2011 at 10:44 am |
    • Progeny

      I am sure, you are still clinging on to the fact that earth is flat and at the center of the universe...

      October 4, 2011 at 7:34 am |
    • Scott

      No one calls them evolutionists except those who refuse to see reason. We like to refer to ourselves as "people." We have no need to be identified as a "religious group," as understanding the science behind evolution is completely seperate from religion.

      October 4, 2011 at 8:23 am |
      • NiceTry

        If the smartest scientists in the world don't understand the science behind "evolution", how is it that you do. And if you do, why keep it to your self?

        October 4, 2011 at 8:47 am |
      • AGuest9

        Religious nuts like to call people who don't believe in some creator followers of "Atheism". They don't understand what it is to not have some belief to cling to. They do the same with "evolutionists" and "Darwinists". I imagine there are "Big Bangists", too, but I haven't seen the term used yet, surprisingly.

        October 4, 2011 at 9:20 am |
      • I'm The Best!

        Scientists do understand the science behind evolution. They also understand the process of how it works. I'd say look into it with an open mind and really try to understand it, but I know that's going to happen, in fact, I wouldn't be surprised if you ask me to show it to you just so you don't have to look up a scientific journal on it which would explain it better than I would. Leading to you finding an inconsistancy in what I said since I'm no evolutionary scientist just so you can say your point was proven. Which it wouldn't be.

        October 4, 2011 at 9:23 am |
      • Neal

        Scott, Darwinism is soaked in religion. Charles Darwin said more about God in his "scientific" works than most preachers do on Sunday morning. His whole theory rests on a narrow interpretation of what thought a creator should have done.

        October 4, 2011 at 10:39 am |
      • S1N

        Actually, Darwin's theory does not rest upon God or religion. Darwin was certainly religious, but his scientific papers still work just fine without any reference to such a magic man in the sky. Besides, Darwin was simply one of the first to publish papers on evolution via natural selection. A LOT of progress has been made since. Like it or not, you're related to an ape.

        October 4, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • Professor Xavier

      peter what you fail to understand is that it matters little what charles darwin said, he was a brilliant man with a brilliant idea, but he has not been the only contributor to the theory of evolution. Additionally in the hundreds of years that have passed since the inception of the theory of evolution, all evidence discovered has shown it to be true. This can be shown through both the fossil record as well as the DNA sequencing we are currently doing on thousands of different species. We are able to calculate exactly when the different branches of life diverged and are uncovering some incredible realizations about ourselves and our part in nature.

      Evolution by natural selection is a proven solid scientific fact which well known, well documented and constantly proven time and time again by independent observation by biologists all over the world.

      October 4, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
  31. Landed

    I can't believe this should be viewed as a surprise. Of course evolution is still occurring. It's human arrogance and ignorance, as usual, not to mention religious superstition, that would make people think otherwise. Religion is the only thing holding back our cultural evolution.

    October 4, 2011 at 7:08 am |
    • Ian. UK

      The cornerstone of modern Science
      is E = m c 2.
      wait, thats now
      E= MC 2, and a bit (thank you CERN)
      Atheists and agnostics tremble, because
      Science is the new superstition!

      October 4, 2011 at 8:37 am |
      • I'm The Best!

        What happened at CERN doesn't mean Einstein was wrong, it just means it wasn't perfect, just like Newton's theory is right, just not as good as Einstein's.

        And I don't think there are any atheists or agnostics trembling because of this news, if anything, we're all very excited to be given new evidence.

        October 4, 2011 at 9:06 am |
      • AGuest9

        Actually, it is the purpose of science to eliminate superstition.

        October 4, 2011 at 9:22 am |
      • Ian. UK

        I'm (hardly) The Best!
        "

        October 4, 2011 at 9:40 am |
      • Ian UK

        I'M THE BEST!

        "CERN doesn't mean Einstein was wrong, it just means it wasn't perfect."
        That's semantic, procrastinating hogwash!
        If CERN's observations are correct, and C isn't, then General Relativity is as perfect as "Flat Earth Theory."
        Well it is at Wrigley Field.
        A nutrino, knock, knock, who's there?

        October 4, 2011 at 9:57 am |
      • I'm The Best!

        @ Ian. Uk
        I agree that you're hardly the best. I know this because I'm the best, as my name suggests.

        Although I know I'm not the best at everything. For example, being interesting, the Dos Equis guy has that one on me. Also, I'm not the most awesome, Barney Stinson from How I met Your Mother has me on that one as well. But I do think I'm the best in pretty much everything else, if not the best, at least number 2 or 3.

        October 4, 2011 at 9:58 am |
      • I'm The Best!

        @ Ian. UK
        If you're doing an experiment on Wrigley Field then using the assumption that the Earth is flat is just fine because the curvature of the Earth does not interfere with your experiment. Just like Newton's theories work just fine when dealing with stuff here in earth like tossing a ball in the air. And Einstein's theories work really well when describing the motion of plantes around a star. (Newton had Mercury's orbit wrong).

        So general relativity works great depending on what you're working on. It certainly has worked well enough for us to put GPS satalites in orbit and put robots on mars for us to drive around. According to this new info, it just isn't perfect. And especially not so for nutrinoes.

        October 4, 2011 at 10:06 am |
      • frespech

        mc2=E

        God is an abundance of dynamic energy. Energy is the scource of mass

        October 4, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  32. O.C.

    Overly religious people who deny the existence of evolution should stop visiting hospitals while their at it. I mean, what do scientist know. They should visit a church whenever they're sick. But they won't do that. They deny science when it suits them and embrace it when they're life depends on it!!

    On another matter. Why would scientist need to study to find out if we're still evolving. Why would we have stopped evolving it a better question. Are they really that arrogant to believe humans have reached the pinnacle of evolution. There's no need to evolve any more. This is it. We as a species are no less subject to evolution than any other species changing/mutating to a changing environment!

    October 4, 2011 at 7:03 am |
    • Dan

      Scientists would study to identify whether we're continuing to evolve because an important cornerstone of science is successfully reproducing, over and over, what we believe to be true. When results are as expected, the theories in place are reinforced. When results are not as expected, we grow, as that means the theory was incomplete, or possibly even wrong. If it turns out we've stopped evolving, we need to make modifications to our current model of evolution. Look up water fleas and their helmets. Look up epigenetics in general. The findings of people asking questions and retesting prior assumptions have resulted in significant modifications to our understanding of heritable traits in the last decade.

      October 4, 2011 at 10:41 am |
  33. joesense

    Johnsons have become smaller. that's evolution

    October 4, 2011 at 6:56 am |
  34. Tunde

    Evolution could exist... If God wants it to. I believe He probably does. The problem of the waywardness of the human heart needs to be resolved first. There are 2 instances in the bible that might hint to suggest this. The king of the then super power Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4: 1-37) was punished by God for his pride. He became a beast. Jesus is recorded to have transfigured (Matthew 17:1-9). He did not sprout extra limbs or appendages, His body became able to transcend into extra-dimensional realms. God...If He so chooses, can unlock our physical senses and cause us to perceive and interact with that other dimensions that are around us. I believe He has kept us in a locked state that is between beast mode and celestial. It's probably for our own good. I believe the first man and woman mentioned in the good book, had the transfigured bodies. They blew it – you know the story- and they got stuck with what we have now(Faulty decaying vessels) I believe God's intent is to restore "Man" to the original state. I won't really consider it evolving, it's actually the normal "Man" state. Caveat! the condition of the Human heart needs to be rectified first. God has already started the process. It began in Acts 2: 1-4

    October 4, 2011 at 6:54 am |
    • Vex

      Amazing... srsly teh best reply, in a religious and logical context, i've ever hear, and agree with...

      October 4, 2011 at 7:29 am |
  35. Yep

    The longer 1 generation of an animal lives the longer it will take for the effects of evolution to be seen. Evolution is the process of adapting through the natural selection of desirable traits that improve your chances of survial and/or ability to pass on your genes. The reason all things are alive is to mate and pass on those genes. The more successfull you are at this the more of your genes will be in the population and the more the population will resemble you and your traits.

    YES...there are fossil intermediates which show evolution... you must also take into account the difficulty it takes to form a fossil. Not every single animal that dies will leave a fossil, it needs certain conditions to form and then we have to get lucky enough to find the right fossil. We will thus not be able to find every single intermediate fossil to prove every stage of every animals evolution. But despite these odds we still have found proof. Evolution exists!

    Whilst it is harder to show evolution in humans because we live so long and have long genereation times it is not hard to see evolution in action today in other animals.

    Bacteria and viruses will have thousands of generations in the time it takes for 1 human generation to pass and this is plenty of time to show them adapting and evolving.

    I am sure everyone has heard of those "Super Bugs" in hospitals which are resistance to certain types of antibiotics.

    How do you think these antbiotic resistant super bugs have appeared....... when us humans isolated antibiotics and started to use it to treat bacterial infections it was the miracle drug.

    Over time however certain types of bacteria were adapting and getting resistant to certain antbiotics and they were passing these genes on to the next generation. We now have these strains of bacteria unlike that which was around before. We have provided the selection pressure in terms of trying to wipe them out with anitbiotics.

    Science is not a religion, science is a way of thinking. We ask questions, think of hypotheses to explain those questions and then we test those hypotheses. we work within confidence limits, scientists are the biggest sceptics out there..

    Some aspects of religion are good... for instance treating other people well... But religion is jsut stories passed down over the generations....There is no god.... Religion was created by us humans to explain the things we couldnt explain.

    But now we dont need religion...we have science...A way of thinking... a way of testing...We get our own answers now.

    Those that beleive in god and religion like to feel like there is someone else looking over them..they are affraid and confused.

    Why are there so many religions...are there like 100 different gods up there...sounds crazy doesnt it.
    Some people need religion to explain the things they can not.

    October 4, 2011 at 6:45 am |
    • Dennis

      i guess the pc from which you commented, evolved too. the living organism is much,much,much more complicated that a simple clock that was designed, painstakingly created by an intelligent person. science is not always right, most of it is just theories. another qns to the evolutionists like u , if the big bang happened, where did it happen, if it happened in a space/ universe, how did that universe evolve. this just goes on n on. with a pea size brain that man has he or she cannot understand everything there is. Hope you know your creator before you close your eyes.

      October 4, 2011 at 7:04 am |
      • TJ

        With that comment alone you prove his point. So who created the god you so serve? Or are we going to believe that some magic sky fairy pulled the universe out of some hat because he was bored? What kind of personality does your god have when you are supposed to believe in just a fairy tale creation when reality (the part we all live in, including you) states something totally different?

        October 4, 2011 at 8:25 am |
      • moe

        Evolution has nothing to do with the formation of the universe.

        October 4, 2011 at 8:38 am |
      • Daniel

        1) Evolution does not try to explain the origin of the universe, anymore than it tries to explain why the Packers won last season's Super Bowl
        2) Duh, of course it is mostrly theories... but I think you do not know what a Scientific Theory is. I'll give you examples, tell me which one is not true: Theory of Electromagnetism; Theroy of Tides; Set theory; Game theory; Music theory; Theory of Relativity (doubling as the current Theory of Gravity); Atomic theory; Theory of the periodicity of the elements; Germ theory of disease. These are all Scientific theories, which are different from facts. Facts are the data (i.e., a stone falls if dropped), while theories are the explanation (why it falls, how it falls). A scientific theory is the current best explanation of a fact as demonstrated by the current evidence.
        3) Thankfully, I met my 2 creators a long time ago... my mom and dad,

        October 4, 2011 at 10:05 am |
  36. TJ

    It's actually frightening how our friends on the right with their creationist myth deny any form of science to allow our species to grow. Yes, our species. Even that little book they hold so dear is filled with so many holes that one must wonder what part of their brain refuses to accept change. Lets think for a moment. If Adam and Eve were even remotely true, and after their tea bagging son (Cain) killed Abel, if this supreme being created Adam and Eve as the first humans, where did the people come from for him to build this city? With whom did he mate with to have his first born? Is this the first republican going after Adam and Eves first daughter??

    October 4, 2011 at 6:14 am |
  37. Dennis

    I don't believe in evolution. How can the humans, the animals, the plants & all the organisms who are so intelligently engineered internally can be just evolve like that. I know evolution theorists have a theory for that too. Can they explain how male & female evolved separately..............................God created everything there is according to His plan.

    October 4, 2011 at 6:06 am |
    • Daniel

      So intelligently designed internally!? Really? Clearly you have not seen the insides of any animal. We are structurally very flawed. Our eye is full of defects, like being built kind of backwards. We swallow food and breathe air through the same tube, which is horribly, horribly dangerous. We have nerves that literally twist around other organs to reach their destination only a couple inches away from where it started, making it 10 times as long as it needs to be. We have a useless vestigial tail. We have extra useless teeth which usually require surgical removal (wisdom teeth), inherited from our ancestors who had a larger muzzle. We get hernias because testicles have to come down from the abdomen... and incidentally, fishes have theirs in their abdomen. Whales breathe air... also, they actually have 5 digits, along with hand and wrist bones in their flippers. Manatees still have nails. We have useless muscles in our ears, and a useless hair-rising reflect. If the human body was indeed designed by an engineer, he would have been fired a long time ago.
      2) If all living things are designed, then that means the malaria bacteria was also designed. What kind of evil mind designs that?
      3) Males and females did not evolve separately. Individuals do not evolve. Populations do. Every single male begins formation as a female. Only with the addition of a different chromose you begin to turn into a male. That is why you have nipples, dude. Ever wondered that? Oh yeah, nipples are useless in males, too.

      October 4, 2011 at 10:26 am |
      • MrAnonymous

        Good post, but minor correction: we don't swallow food and breathe in air through the same tube. Food goes down the esophagus and air goes down the trachea. They're two different tubes, both located in the throat. Otherwise, you're spot on.

        October 4, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • Professor Xavier

      Its good you have questions, curiosity is the first step to understanding. But don't think that just because you don't understand it that there isn't an answer or that there must be some sort of 'magic' involved. ALL life on this planet started from a single origin, and each took a different path depending on what worked for it. It passed along its plan, coded in its DNA, to its offspring. However the copy was slightly imperfect, so the offspring had some different features. Those features that helped it, got passed onto the next generation, while the one's that harmed it, caused it to die.

      Life that is alive today is the result of all the billions of successful survival plans. Which included protective shells and bones for structure, motors for movement (muscles), digestion for energy production, bloodflow for distribution of nutrients to the entire body, a brain to overcome complicated situations, and so on.

      October 4, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
  38. coufeyrac

    "No mutations producing another pair of appendages have ever been observed – among humans or any four-legged creatures – in 350 million years. That's among millions of different species – not only our own. It's not going to happen."

    what about Hemingway's polydactyl cats in Key West? It' only a couple of extra toes per paw now, but in the future...

    October 4, 2011 at 6:04 am |
  39. BH

    Dear CNN:
    Now, normally I would just say, "Fire whoever wrote this article," but that might not be fair. It may have been his first day on the job. However, if that were the case, then someone should have checked it, and that person should have been fired. The objections have been raised by everyone else on this message board, so I won't bother repeating them.

    October 4, 2011 at 6:04 am |
    • Progeny

      Dear CNN, please don't fire the guy. BH does not even present an argument or a statement as to what is wrong with the article!

      October 4, 2011 at 7:38 am |
  40. Darketernal

    Its not true, humans can grow wings if natural selection goes into that unlikely way. Evolution is always going on.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:47 am |
  41. J.Danielsson

    Well? Very often there's nothing new under the sun, and for those arguing against the ones who disputes 'theory of evolution' and bangs loudly on the huge 'creationist-drum'. There is a saying that goes like: Never argue with a fool! It only makes a fool out of yourself! ... and why not contemplate following.
    “The world holds two classes of men – intelligent men without religion, and religious men without intelligence.”
    ― Abu'l-Ala-Al-Ma'arri (Syria 973-1057 AD)

    October 4, 2011 at 5:43 am |
  42. mv

    no new appendages? Aren't the birds supposed to be whats left of the dinosaurs after evolution got through with them? Seems like the dino's pulled off an X-man kinda thing why cant we?

    October 4, 2011 at 5:41 am |
    • Kevin B

      Dinosaurs had four appendages. Birds have four appendages.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:55 am |
      • Scared

        Like a cold beer on a hot summer afternoon. It's refreshing to see at least some people here have a brain.

        October 4, 2011 at 9:31 am |
  43. mac jones

    Devo. We are de-evlving back to slime. Just look at the person sitting next to you. The odds are he/she is so fat and sweaty, they can hardly move (that's the USA). THe rest of the world is worse. But this is ok, as i'm really just a Monkey now. EEEEEK

    October 4, 2011 at 4:16 am |
  44. Johnny Brown

    Dammit!! Just when I needed an extra pair of hands.

    October 4, 2011 at 3:44 am |
    • mcool123

      you okay?

      October 4, 2011 at 9:58 am |
      • Johnny Brown

        Yup. Need those extra hands cause all of the work I gotta do. Too bad that the articcle points out that we won't be getting extra appendages.

        October 5, 2011 at 6:29 am |
  45. André

    Evolution is indeed going on but it may have been reversed by 20th century politics which rewards laziness and punish achievement by taxing those who are successful and subsidizing those who are least productive and who breed best.

    October 4, 2011 at 3:26 am |
    • jd

      good thing we live in the 21st century now!

      October 4, 2011 at 9:01 am |
  46. Outoftheboxinsight

    So glad this Consciousness is evolving and we will see the humor of this kind of 3D 'science' as portrayed in the article, completely ignoring the cosmic consciousness and nature of 'reality'. Novus Ordo Seclorum:)

    October 4, 2011 at 3:25 am |
  47. Questionable

    I wish you would step back from that ledge, my friend you could cut ties with all the lies that you’ve been living in. Open your mind

    October 4, 2011 at 2:57 am |
    • Artur de Freitas

      By the time there is a significant difference even my ashes won't exist. I don't understand how it could have been contemplated that human evolution had stopped !!! Of course it didn't and why is people being paid to make such obvious "discoveries"?

      October 4, 2011 at 3:27 am |
  48. Biff

    Show me your boobs, ruff ruff!!!!

    October 4, 2011 at 2:43 am |
  49. mark

    seems I see most of the posters here are in prozac crowd, you braniacs are pullin at straws, if your so smart about this evolution( hoax) go visit the cementary to visit relatives and friends not many made it past 100 yrs old

    October 4, 2011 at 2:40 am |
    • Questionable

      Yeah thats some really good logic, I mean if something can't live past 100 yrs old it can't evolve.

      October 4, 2011 at 2:44 am |
    • JDriver77

      You do understand that Evolution takes place through recreation....not during a select lifespan, right?,...How can you judge something as false when you don't even understand the simple aspect of how it works....lol. Good try though.

      October 4, 2011 at 3:14 am |
      • Oh, you. :\

        So you're saying that evolution occurs as an activity of leisure, during your discretionary time?

        October 4, 2011 at 4:48 am |
      • Set Phasers to Sexify

        How can you judge something as true when you don't even understand the difference between recreation and procreation.

        October 4, 2011 at 4:50 am |
      • Scared

        "Good try though."
        Uh, no. It wasn't a good try. It was pathetic.

        October 4, 2011 at 5:14 am |
  50. J.Danielsson

    Just wondering if there is a God who has a lot of some kind Monthy Pyton-like humor – allowed humans to evolve with some kind of "slotmachine"-type of brains. Some humans have a brain with certain level of intelligence, but as with the slotmachine where one only wins sometimes – its only sometimes something intelligent comes out. Its not only me who comes up with stupid things – I've noticed I'm not alone.
    To draw conlcusion from church records on a small island? In medieval Europe people married already in their early teens – and for sure had children long before leaving their teens. And how about first child among tribes in southamerican or african rainforests – or among tribes in remote areas of south east asia... and so on and on... Got a strange idea that they use the word science which have lost the three first letters – i.e. pseudo ...Uhm!? Six first letters!
    Its hard being stupid... sorry for that. ;)

    October 4, 2011 at 1:24 am |
  51. Alex

    Evolution is very real, and the lactose and oxygen examples cited are great examples of it. BUT, that study about the birth age is ridiculous, and at least as described, seems like bad science...

    October 4, 2011 at 12:46 am |
    • Todd Sumner

      Alex,
      I agree, as a researcher I find that this is really bad science. There are number of plausible reasons for the results which they fail to mention. Additionally, natural selection doesn't equate to evolution, it is only part of the story. It simply means a specific trait allows certain members to survive. We need to see evidence that there are new genes that have mutated to give members of the group an advantage.

      October 4, 2011 at 1:05 am |
      • Patrick

        Good points in these comments about this article not doing the original article justice. I chalk that up to space constraints only. The authors of the study took into account social factors (age at first marriage, etc.) and used what are called "animal models" that account for common familial environment. So, essentially, the authors aren't simply taking a bunch of ages and plotting them over time to make their inferences. They subtracting out the noise associated with unmeasured social factors (which can be assumed to be random with a large sample size). Nearly the same kind of approach has been used for many, many other studies both theoretical and empirical.

        I agree that the article could have explained a bit more, since it's obvious from these comments that readers have additional questions. But, as I've read the article and use the kinds of statistical models that they used, it's solid work. In fact, there are likely many many more traits that they measured that show the same sorts of patterns. So, in that sense, their publication is very conservative.

        October 4, 2011 at 2:23 am |
    • Get real

      Aahh yes Alex, it is indeed bad science, just a load of rubish really, if that is the best "evidence" our scientific community with Phd's can conjure up then I'm Whistler's Mother.

      Human evolution is a crock, you know it, everyone knows it. Stop pretending that God dosen't exist and that you somehow evolved from nothing into a complex being. Just didn't happen that way I'm afraid. Be thankful that God created you from his infinite mercy, love and goodness and that he sustains your every heartbeat to this very day.

      Evolution is a religion for Athiests, they will come to know the truth some day.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:43 am |
  52. joe b

    If evolution existed, we would see all kinds of creatures transitioning into other species. That and the that the fossil record has not found a single transitional form is proof that evolution never occurred in the history of the world. Everything was created by a being far more intelligent that our peewee brainss could ever comprehend. We know so little but pretend we are smart when all of us are but fools.

    October 4, 2011 at 12:44 am |
    • MS

      Can you prove a single thing you said? Didn't think so...

      October 4, 2011 at 12:57 am |
    • Gadflie

      Actually kid, science has found literally dozens of obvious transitional fossils. Sorry to burst your ignorance bubble.

      October 4, 2011 at 1:07 am |
    • Phil

      Before you creationists say anything in an attempt to refute evolution, first you must LEARN it.....

      October 4, 2011 at 1:40 am |
    • itsreald

      Y R U SOE STOO PID...?????...EVOLUTION HAPPENS BUT NO GENERATION GETS TO SEE ANY CHANGES...THINGS LIKE ANIMALS BRANCHING INTO OTHER TYPE OF ANIMALS DOES NOT HAPPEN OVERNIGHT...YOU NEED TO LOOK AT THE ASTRONOMY CALENDAR...IN WIKIPEDIA WHICH GIVES YOU AN EXAMPLE OF THE TIME...HAYLOW...!!!!

      October 4, 2011 at 1:58 am |
      • itsreald

        WE ARE BARELY GETTING ACQUAINTED WITH COMPREHENDING THE AMOUNTS OF TIME THAT WE MEAN WHEN WE TALK ABOUT HISTORY LIKE THIS IN THE UNIVERSE AND YOU ACTUALLY NEED A VISUAL TIME SCALE

        October 4, 2011 at 2:14 am |
    • Gary B. Sanford

      We don't readily see the changes because evolution happens over long periods of time. Natural selection is the odds that a particular trait will be favored in a particular species in a particular environment and that trait will be genetically passed on to offspring to ensure the survival of the species, a process that takes time. If you want to believe that this is the way a supernatural creator puts us together then why argue with the "way." For me, it makes a lot more sense than the "Poof! Here we are" scenario, although evolution is less entertaining.

      October 4, 2011 at 2:08 am |
      • itsreald

        ONE DAY SOON...I HOPE THERE'S GOING TO BE LESS CREATIONIST PEOPLE...AND REALIZE THAT WE NEED TO THINK FOR OURSELVES BY OURSELVES INSTEAD OF WASTING TIME LIKE GOING TO CHURCH...OR BLAMING A DEITY FOR OUR OWN ACTIONS...

        October 4, 2011 at 2:11 am |
      • itsreald

        @GARY...SORRY, I DID NOT MEAN YOU...I MEANT THE PERSON ABOVE YOUR COMMENT...LOL

        October 4, 2011 at 2:12 am |
      • Patrick

        Evolution, in fact, doesn't occur over long periods of time. What we observe of evolutionary change, however, may appear to be faster or slower depending on the time scale over which we observe it. Remember that "time" in your case is generations. So, we can observation, say, many cycles of fluctuating selection (negative directional in some years and positive directional in others) if we examine phenotypic changes over many generations. There's an increasing literature on rapid evolution, which shows that observable genetic evolution can occur in <20 generations. Thus, for a bird with a mean life span of 4 years, that would mean that humans could observe genetic divergence in one lifetime. Imagine what we could see with beetles or Drosophila.

        October 4, 2011 at 2:31 am |
    • Erik

      I cannot contain myself anymore....this post truely is patently false. If this poster had studied any sort of basic biology they would understand transitional species are found all everywhere in the natural world, Let me give you an example, Birds are a warm-blooded, feathered result of a transitional species called Archaeopteryx, which while it shares many physiological factors with modern birds, while at the same time it is most definitely a dinosaur( possessing highly scaled skin, undeveloped feathering not suited to long flight, and no beak, or rather a mouthful of teeth). This is only one such example of a transition species, and while I understand we alll can't always agree in our differing philosophies, but this is not one of them, this scientific fact, and truely I fear for us as a species if we are still battling over this in the 2011, over 130 years after the death of Darwin.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:04 am |
      • frespech

        Erik, thats a real nice story and now perhaps you can enlighten us on the lack of evolution of the Penguin or Ostrich or Emu.

        October 4, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  53. Simon

    What a feeble and ridiculous article. If it was under antrhopolgy or history or sociology fine, but it has nothing to do with science or evolution. I'm an atheist by the way who thinks that all religious people are insane, stupid or both.

    October 4, 2011 at 12:31 am |
    • You're stupid

      And you sound like a bigot. Are all atheist like you? I would hope not, that's just embarrassing.

      October 4, 2011 at 12:46 am |
      • Phil

        Explain how his comment is bigoted please. I am also an atheist and I resent your tone.....Bear in mind that research has shown that the higher up the intelligence level you go, the less likely you find believers in a deity. In other words, us atheists are smarter......

        October 4, 2011 at 1:43 am |
      • NiceTry

        @Phil: "I'm an atheist by the way who thinks that all religious people are insane, stupid or both". THAT is how it is bigoted. Calling a group of people insane and stupid for no other reason than what they believe is bigoted.

        And in response to your other nonsense, I have a masters degree in Mechanical Engineering and am a Christian. How does that sit with your "higher intelligance less likely to believe" theory?

        October 4, 2011 at 9:43 am |
    • JoeProfet

      Atheists are wise in their own conceits. So, to yourselves you are genius, to the rest of creation you are foolish. Anyone that has an aptitude for science at all will realize quickly that much of what scientist call fact is their resolve in denying creation. Because, in accepting creation is true wisdom. To deny it is folly and the pursuit of evolution is a path leading no where. The only thing science has revealed in all of this is that species adapt to environmental changes and that is through the infinite wisdom of God, which was to create an adaptable human being. Many of the species that scientist believe to be "transitional" are species or variations, of their own. Why else would there be variation in species unless it pleased the creator to have variety. Scientist chasing their tales (pun intended) is comical at best. Creationist watch the "mad scientists" perform their experiments and laugh because of their blatent denial of the creator. But, we still love you. Weird Science was my favorite movie growing up, and now the Nutty Professor is my all time favorite!! God bless all of you atheist.

      October 4, 2011 at 7:52 am |
  54. Mr. Roboto

    Uh, how is the lowing of the birth rate over a series of generations a sign of evolutionary change? It can easily be attributed a multitude of social factors that have absolutely nothing to do with genetics. For example, in the United States the average age for a woman to have her first child was 21.4 years in 1970 and has risen again to 25 years in 2009. This change has nothing to do with genetic evolution, but social evolution. More women began going to college, entering the work force and putting off having kids. The availability of birth control also played a role.

    This article doesn't explain why genetics and not social factors were responsible for women having kids at an earlier age on that Island. Also, why did the study only look at first time birthrates up to 1940. I bet if you looked at the trend after that date, you would see the average age of first time births increasing.

    October 4, 2011 at 12:16 am |
    • Jim

      Exactly. This study is ridiculous. Should say, "Scientists claim to find exactly what they're looking for."

      October 4, 2011 at 12:23 am |
    • PleaseUseLogic

      From what I read, it's not science.

      October 4, 2011 at 12:31 am |
    • Todd Sumner

      Agree 100%. Very bad science. I would love to see a reporter who has even a minimal science education. Unfortunately only sensational results seem to attract the attention of the media.

      October 4, 2011 at 1:10 am |
    • JLS639

      The article did address this. Unless it was edited after you posted, you need to read it more carefully. First, the age at which a woman has her first child is strongly correlated with the age of her first menstruation. This island has a small, relatively genetically homogeneous population unlike the US population. Therefore, studying a population like the island's removes the confounds of multiple subpopulations that would exist in a large nation.

      October 4, 2011 at 8:26 am |
  55. PleaseUseLogic

    I have not read the actual publication, so perhaps I shouldn't make accusations. However, the way that CNN has reported this makes this study sound like one of the worst attempts at science that I have ever heard; Rife with spurious relationships, no obvious controls, and an unsupported conclusion not describing what was actually tested. Disgraceful.

    October 4, 2011 at 12:06 am |
    • Todd Sumner

      I agree. I would like to read the actual publication as reporters tend to have little to no clue about anything science related.

      October 4, 2011 at 1:13 am |
  56. Liz1388

    Good Grief, CNN! What a poorly written article!
    Besides the inane references to X-men, the info on the study only makes sense if the "reporter" had inclided that it was of MARRIED women's birth records. That's just the first ineptitude in this mess. If you also found this article incomprehensible, go see:
    http://www.livescience.com/16358-human-evolution-natural-selection.html
    for the real info.

    October 3, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
    • Rigel54

      Yeah, this is one of the most vacuous articles to date.

      October 4, 2011 at 12:26 am |
  57. helenecha

    It remains true human evolution is still happening.

    October 3, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
    • Jim

      No, it isn't.

      October 4, 2011 at 12:24 am |
      • Mr_Philosopher

        Maybe not in your fairy tale land of mythology and superstition.

        October 4, 2011 at 12:37 am |
    • Rigel54

      Yes it is, but this article doesn't show it, and the changes probably won't be good. Social evolution has removed much selective pressure for positive traits, so a general decline seems likely.

      October 4, 2011 at 12:33 am |
      • helenecha

        Let's make it a rule to have a look at the opportunities before we think that the changes probably won't be good.

        October 4, 2011 at 2:46 am |
  58. The Pope

    There's no such thing as evloution. BTW, God quit. She said she was tired of everybody doing shi**y stuff in her name. She's going on wlefare in Arkansas.

    October 3, 2011 at 11:23 pm |
  59. Empirical Evidence

    Science...either you understand it or you don't

    October 3, 2011 at 11:15 pm |
  60. Jeff

    OK, just an observation here. True, the study was improperly conducted or more than likely, improperly reported on CNN.COM.
    Second, BOTH evolution and creaton can be correct. it all had to start somewhere, but MOST species evolve over time to fit within their respective environment. Very few have remained unchainged over the past several thousand years.... examples are the crocodile, sharks, and tortorses to name a few, and even those have changed some. not sure if the changes are evolutions or adaptations. Even some snakes have remains of legs in their skeletal remains. As far as humans go, the human embrio has a tail and gills in early stages. There, is every body happy now

    October 3, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
    • Adam

      No, Evolution and Creationism CANNOT both be correct. Yes, it did have to start somewhere, and that was in the bonding of nucleopeptids and the evolution of a single cell. You gotta be pretty stupid to believe the world is all of 8000 years old.

      October 3, 2011 at 11:35 pm |
      • np

        where did matter come from?

        October 4, 2011 at 2:55 am |
      • smog

        Kind of wondering the same thing. I don't really lean either way though I was raised in a Lutheran home and obviously taught the creation model. But all this evolution stuff sounds great for people who need to make a career out of best guesses and finding the exact answers they need to prove the theories that they came up with. How convenient. And in the end I just want to know where they think all this matter , however basic it may have been in the beginning came from? I mean nucleopeptids are made of more basic particles and those and made of smaller particales ect ect ect....Where did it start?

        October 4, 2011 at 6:09 am |
      • I'm The Best!

        it all came from energy, E=mc2 and all. And before you ask where all this energy came from, no one really knows. And that doesn't mean it was a god that did it, it just means we don't know.

        So we don't know where all this pre-universe energy came from, but we do know it didn't have to come from any gods.

        October 4, 2011 at 9:13 am |
      • np

        you believe that matter comes from energy and that no one knows where energy came from.
        I suggest that believing that matter believe this takes faith. Theists are often criticized for believing in the supernatural because it takes faith. Both science and religion to some extent both require faith. Admittedly, science requires less than theism but it still does require faith and theists shouldn't be mocked for their faith if those mocking them also rely on faith.

        October 5, 2011 at 8:03 am |
  61. Sean

    So you admit you have no idea what you're talking about? Refreshing!

    October 3, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
  62. Ron

    ??? Nice example of jumping to premature conclusions with an improper foundation. Stearns is an idiot. What is the genetic mechanism for the change? Do you have a line of DNA samples? Have you excluded social factors? Morons like this do a disservice to objective science. The evolution deniers are going to have a heyday with this BS hypothesis.

    October 3, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
  63. Fop

    Well, consider the X-men character Marrow and the real-world disease fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (www.ifopa.org), where there is indeed uncontrolled, and painful, bone growth.

    The cause of this growth? A mutation! Fully replicable (just ask any of the 700 or so people known, worldwide, to have the condition).

    October 3, 2011 at 9:53 pm |
  64. Brett

    I'm still waiting for an answer from one of you "Intelligent design" people to this question: "If God created the Universe, then what created God? The idea that something as complex and powerful as God can happen by accident is like all the pieces of a pocket watch somehow randomly falling together. A pocket watch must have a creator, so obviously, God must have a creator. But then what created the creator's creator? Obviously, a Being which is even more complex and powerful than God must have needed a creator as well? But then what created the Creator's creator's creator? and so on....

    October 3, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
    • Sophia

      I think of it as God was there and has always been there; when you consider a Christian viewpoint it's as if God is a constant. There was no time He didn't exist, and there will be no time He doesn't exist.

      October 3, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
      • Brett

        Thank you, you just proved my point. If you admit there was one thing (God, you say) which didn't need a creator, if God is allowed to be an eternal constant, then, let's just eliminate the whole God thing, and just accept that the Universe is that one thing that didn't need a creator, and the Universe is an eternal constant. Why include this unnecessary imaginary Being as the first step of creation?

        You can't imagine the Universe coming into existence without a divine hand creating it, but YET you CAN imagine God coming into existence without a divine hand creating God? Make up your mind.

        October 4, 2011 at 12:50 am |
    • Eric

      The answer you'll get to this is that God exists "outside of space an time." Things that exist out of space and time are known as "imaginary." so I guess I can't argue with them.

      October 3, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
      • Hadenufyet

        Time stands still at the speed of light..hence it does not exist , or so it would seem.

        October 3, 2011 at 10:34 pm |
      • John

        Imaginary means not real. Things that exist outside spacetime are indeed real. Of course, now we are tangling with semantics.

        October 3, 2011 at 10:52 pm |
      • Phil

        I've always been intrigued by the "God exists outside time and space" response. If that was the case then how would a God be able to be detected? And where would it exist if its outside time and space? And more to the point, how do people claim to know so much and so personally about this deity when it is unable to be detected? Presumably we haven't found any ways to detect anything outside time and space so far..........Science is good but they surely must also have to stick to the known laws of physics......

        October 4, 2011 at 1:51 am |
    • bob

      Why couldn't God be created by another God of equal intelligence, majesty and power? Think outside the limits you yourself have placed on things.

      October 3, 2011 at 10:03 pm |
      • Brett

        Well, what created that other God? One of them had to come first, right?

        October 4, 2011 at 12:53 am |
    • Hadenufyet

      Where does a circle begin and where does it end?

      October 3, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
      • zanzabar

        somewhere within this argument.

        October 3, 2011 at 11:44 pm |
    • Kody

      The idea sir, is that God is an eternal being, having existed for eternity already and will exist for eternity yet. The very concept of it is impossible for a mortal mind to comprehend.

      October 3, 2011 at 10:40 pm |
      • Brett

        Hey, maybe the UNIVERSE is eternal. Why must you always invoke this imaginary being before everything else can be created? It's an unnecessary step that can be omitted. If there is ONE thing allowed by the logic of your mind to be eternal and constant, why can it not just be the Universe? Your logic is like a Rube Goldberg machine.

        it's an easy way to dodge the whole chicken and the egg conundrum by inventing this omnipotent being that can break all the rules, and that you won't question further.

        October 4, 2011 at 1:11 am |
      • Phil

        So then if it is impossible for a mortal mind to comprehend, how you claim to be such an expert?

        October 4, 2011 at 1:53 am |
    • Hadenufyet

      Matter cannot be created nor destroyed , therefore you have existed in some other form or scattering of atoms since the beginning of time,

      October 3, 2011 at 10:48 pm |
      • aozaf

        E=mc^2 or pick your bomb.

        October 3, 2011 at 11:42 pm |
    • Blessed Geek

      Time is but a sequence of events. Imagine you could travel in time just as you could travel in space. Imagine that time is has 3 D. Then you could experience life by plotting your trajectory across this 3D time. May be someone;s observation correlate it to be 2.999...9D. Regardless, the possibilities of the number of trajectories is infinite. So where is the cause and effect you are seeking? Romantics talk about traveling back in time to kill your own baby grandfather. But they don't take into account that their trajectory would have cross your and your ancestral trajectory and might even result in a steady-state feedback loop. May be, the resultant of your life is actually a steady-state feedback loop.

      Who started the time trajectories or the feedback loops? Does there need to have a start? Within the "spatial" realm of that 3D time, do we still speak of how a time trajectory started/ended – that would be like asking in "usual" space "At which point along the middle of the line does the line start/end?" ???

      Where is the centre of the surface of a sphere??? Pickup a football (I mean the real football not the American rugby football). Where is the centre of its surface?

      But can we actually travel back in time? Except within the minuscule constraints of Planck's constant. The more I think of it, the more I believe our time region is falling into a black hole. Even if time could be traversed, in such a case, our past is destroyed because that "historical" space has been swallowed into the black hole. And because we are falling in gravitational free-fall time-wise into this black hole, we feel an emotional responsibility to the delusion of "history".

      And since this free-fall causes us to see time in one direction and one dimension, we start to ask questions like, when is the beginning? Who created god? Our acutely restricted and impaired awareness of the behaviour of time can NEVER answer if any god exists or does not exists. Regardless/irregardless of the opinion of any ultra-genius British physicist.

      The pointlessness of questions such as "who created god" comes into effect. At best you should believe that no god exists and stick to it or believe that a god exists and stick to that.

      October 3, 2011 at 11:02 pm |
      • wpgguy

        My cat's breath smells like cat food

        October 3, 2011 at 11:43 pm |
    • Ericl

      You see intelligent design everywhere. You see human traits that having nothing to do with survival, we can appreciate beauty. We see in color and can reason, animals only have instinct. Why do birds have a compas in their heads, how does evolution explain this one, lol? What about the other millions of amazing things animals do out of pure pre-programming? No animal has shown any form of evolving into another....no fossil record whatsoever buddy. Man can't create a single one-celled life form, yet we claim to know it's exact makeup and how it works. Only life can create life....why? It's as if there's a life force in every living form that gives a gift of life, you can feel it. Seek the TRUTH while it may still be found. The time is short friends, but this is a GOOD thing.

      October 4, 2011 at 10:28 am |
      • Dan

        "We see in color" – we see less of the spectrum than many other species (various invertebrates for instance). We see more of it than others. So what? Plenty of animals see in color. It's useful.
        "We can appreciate beauty" – so? Many animals focus intently on aesthetic standards and ideals. Birds of paradise for instance.
        "[We] can reason" – so can plenty of other animals. Rats for instance are capable of metacognition (thinking about thinking / being aware of what you know). They aren't the only ones. What do you even mean by reason? Evaluation? Problem solving? Many animals are quite capable of all sorts of problem solving. They're also prone to fear, jealousy, empathy. Animals don't just rely on instinct. That's ludicrous. We, as do many species of animals, rely on a combination of reflex, instinct, and reason.
        "No fossil record whatsoever" – there is plenty of fossil record. Just because you haven't acquainted yourself with any of the numerous transitional species we've identified doesn't mean they don't exist. I could similarly argue that your parents don't exist since I haven't bothered to become acquainted with them.

        October 4, 2011 at 11:30 am |
      • kkim77

        Don't you ever watch animal planet or same kind of channel like that? Why Chameleon change his skin to disguise itself? Even mosquitoes have great tool to survive until now. (he can detect your smelly sweat and your body heat).

        February 4, 2013 at 2:30 am |
  65. Liz

    I'd like to see the human race evolve to the point that we didn't have people stupid enough to deny reality! that would be a quantum leap forward. the predominant thinking these days seems to be that if you don't know something, nobody does. people think their opinions outweigh the facts and overwhelming evidence. people deny climate change because a few 'scientists' bought and paid for by the oil industry tell them it's not happening and they'd rather believe them than all the actual scientists who have been telling us for decades that we're destroying our home. if we keep going the way we are, we won't be around as a species to do much more evolving.

    October 3, 2011 at 9:48 pm |
  66. Bailey

    evolution is a theory not a fact....its Darwin's theory of evolution, not his fact of evolution

    October 3, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
    • Bill McGrath

      That evolution occurred is considered a fact. It is supported by overwhelming, incontrovertible evidence. Exactly HOW it occurred is a theory, one that evolves and is refined with each new piece of the puzzle that is unearthed. To pretend otherwise, in the face of all the available substantiating evidence from many scientific disciplines, is foolish, and demonstrates total scientific illiteracy. Burn your old book and get with the program.

      October 3, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
    • Sean

      "Theory" here means "connected, mutually supportive set of explanations," not a "guess."

      October 3, 2011 at 10:07 pm |
    • JeBaker2

      Wow, I know 7th graders that understand science better than you. Congratulations! A scientific theory is one that has been hypothesized, tested, analyzed, re-tested, analyzed, oh and then re-tested a few hundred more times. This is a continual process of learning and trying to understand the ever-growing amount of data. The reason scientists do not use the term fact is because we are always learning and expanding our theories so they are evolving just as we are.

      October 3, 2011 at 10:55 pm |
    • PleaseUseLogic

      Bailey, gravity is also a theory

      October 3, 2011 at 11:57 pm |
    • Ben

      That would mean the theory of plate tectonics, the theory of gravitation, the atomic theory, the theory of relativity, the big bang theory, the germ theory of disease, modern cell theory, and quantum mechanical theory are all guesses.

      A real scientific theory is a collection of knowledge taken broadly to describe a set of observable phenomena. The word theory gets used conversationally where the appropriate word is "hypothesis". To be considered a real theory, it needs a comprehensive backing of independent analysis.

      October 4, 2011 at 12:34 am |
    • Mr_Philosopher

      You're clearly uneducated and/or scientifically illiterate, therefore your opinion is moot.

      October 4, 2011 at 12:40 am |
  67. DebS

    While I do agree that we evolve to adapt to changes in our environments, I find the results of their study about pregnancies odd. While the ages reported may be representative of the area they took their sample from, my experience shows that 26 and even 22 is much older than the age that woman started having children in the US.

    I have spent a lot of time researching my ancestry, which included looking at census reports in the US. Beginning in 1850 when the census started detailing the names & ages of all people in a household, women normally had living children beginning before they reached age 20. Many woman were married at age 18 and started having children right away.

    October 3, 2011 at 9:17 pm |
    • Kyle

      Probably because the article was written about a tiny island in Quebec. Which is in turn in Canada and not a part of the United States so your assertion has no real merit. Please read the article again.

      October 3, 2011 at 10:54 pm |
      • BH

        Except that, surprise, Canada is very close to the U.S. geographically, culturally, historically, and genetically, so one could expect very similar patterns in this sort of data between U.S. and Canada...

        October 4, 2011 at 6:19 am |
  68. gliese42

    The rise of the mutants, Nope,,,,just early pregnancies.

    October 3, 2011 at 8:48 pm |
  69. R

    Biological evolution doesn't mean squat in the context of intelligence evolution, in which case the latter is demonstrating on a daily basis that humans are no more evolving than a common housefly. Humans will eventually become an extinct species due to failing to understand where and how they fit in with the ecological processes of this planet.

    October 3, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
    • JG

      Shows just how little you know.

      October 3, 2011 at 9:07 pm |
  70. Argle Bargle

    If anything, man is devolving. Just look at Congress. Those are our leaders? LMAO! That says it all.

    October 3, 2011 at 8:41 pm |
    • Larry

      Not devolving – intelligent decline.

      October 3, 2011 at 9:23 pm |
    • Don

      A better example of declining intelligence would be US voters.

      October 3, 2011 at 9:40 pm |
      • Larry

        Hard to argue with Don, but are they dumb for trusting that their elected leaders would not be corrupt and sell the country out to the highest bidder? I suppose so.

        October 3, 2011 at 10:50 pm |
    • OzMan

      If "progress" means to move forward and accomplish, and "pro" is the opposite of "con"...

      October 4, 2011 at 12:32 am |
  71. thes33k3r

    Nevermind that half of the world's population is so deluded as to believe that the earth is less than 10,000 years old.

    October 3, 2011 at 8:30 pm |
    • BH

      You mean half of the American population, not half of the world's population. In most first world countries, the percentage is <10%.

      America just fails at this.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:23 am |
  72. Hadenufyet

    It is said that the oldest human fossilized remains were discovered in Africa (Lucy). Now from biology 101 if I were to seed a petri dish with a culture and it propagated , forming yet other cultures , wouldn't it be reasonable to assume that the largest culture would be the oldest? Would it also be reasonable to assume that , being the oldest , it would likely be the most advanced in it's development? I am rather at odds with the current state of thought in this area. If I look at current population densities , I'd probably be inclined to say humans , in their current closest form , probably originated somewhere in southern Asia. They just haven't found any physical proof , or fossilized remains yet. Just an observation.

    October 3, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
    • CJ

      Actually, National Geographic Scientist Spenser Wells roamed the world collecting DNA samples from many places, including very remote populations who have not had the influx of genes from many other cultures like most 1st world cultures have. Running the DNA evidence, he pin pointed that humans migrated out of Africa, twice. So, Africa is indeed where we were born. Look him up – you can even participate in the experiment and find out where you are from.

      October 3, 2011 at 8:19 pm |
      • EK

        I also agree with your statement and have learned a lot about this in my evolution classes. However, these two migrations can also be substantiated with the idea that any population epicenter will have the most genetic diversity with the migratory populations having less genetic diversity. Africa is considered to have the most genetic diversity on the planet being that lineages have been maintained for millennium. Many European, Asian and even Native American cultures do not have the same genetic diversity in their populations; possibly due to inbreeding or lack of contact between other populations because of their migrations. Even though these groups are not considered to be genetically diverse they do have unique genetic traits that are solely within those populations. Just wanted to clarify your point because its a good one!

        October 3, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
    • mickey1313

      And, when dna tests from asia are studyed, they reveal that the populous of the area moved from africa to there, just one more brick in scientists wall of proof.

      October 3, 2011 at 9:29 pm |
      • Hadenufyet

        As far as they know so far.

        October 3, 2011 at 10:51 pm |
  73. Greg

    How can the researchers justify the assumption that the decreasing mean reproductive age is due to genetics, and not changing cultural/social/environmental influences?

    October 3, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
  74. Zeus

    So the population on this planet has spiked in the last hundred years and these women are having their babies even younger. Slow down already! How do we know it isn't devolution on the path to idiocracy?

    October 3, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
    • mickey1313

      Too late, when you look at the demographics, you find that lower income and lower educated people are breeding earlier faster, and more. And those who are smarter, and more well off do not breed. It is makeing Idocracy a garentee of the future.

      October 3, 2011 at 9:31 pm |
  75. Can-Do

    It apparently takes a lot of faith to believe in evolution.

    October 3, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
    • mickey1313

      Science takes no faith, only stupid thiests need faith. Science has truth on its side.

      October 3, 2011 at 9:33 pm |
      • Hadenufyet

        Sure it does , scientists for centuries have researched subjects far and wide solely on the basis of what they BELIEVED was occurring in a given process. Maybe it panned out , maybe it didn't. So they'd try something else to attempt to prove what they BELIEVED to be happening. Some spent their entire lives pursuing their private theories on actions in the physical world because it was what they believed until it could be proven wrong. The mere pursuit of a line of thought relied on a FAITH that what they were doing would be justified.

        October 3, 2011 at 11:47 pm |
    • Eric

      Get a dictionary and look up the word "faith." Then realize people do not have "faith" in science.

      October 3, 2011 at 9:59 pm |
      • John

        You are obviously on the internet. Google faith. Your answer is there. You are wrong. End of line.

        October 4, 2011 at 1:12 am |
    • JeBaker2

      Yet it take very little on your part to epically fail science... Way to go!

      October 3, 2011 at 10:59 pm |
    • John

      Websters: faith- complete trust or Confidence in something.

      Yes, it takes faith to believe in science.

      October 4, 2011 at 1:06 am |
    • sharoom

      Sure, it's faith if you believe it unquestionably. But science doesn't work like that. Science is entirely based on a testable hypothesis and actually carrying out those tests. You are welcome to try and develop your own hypothesis and it will be considered by the scientific community if it is testable. So far evolution is accepted because it has been directly observed in micro-organisms and all evidence found thus far cannot refute it for higher organisms.

      October 4, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
  76. Jubal

    "scientists say human evolution is still happening" for sure, fatter and dumber and gay

    October 3, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
    • utoo

      just like you, eh?

      October 3, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
  77. Truthwillsetyoufree

    We finally split from the Neanderthal dna with the race we call the GOP. Still dumb as a rock but they are finally out of the human gnome. Finally. Now we can become sons of god!

    October 3, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
    • dieyoung1

      Not quite, we still have crazy rednecks... They still have some traces of Neanderthal DNA.

      October 3, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
    • Jeff

      Please do not equate the human race with the neanderthall GOP, we have enough problems as it is.

      October 3, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
    • Sean

      Actually, Neanderthals, while lacking the cognitive power of homo sapiens, did indeed find its own food and care for the young of its species' population. So it did two things GOPers would never be willing to do.

      October 3, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
  78. Dreamer96

    Let me get this straight 1799 to 1940 first birth from 26 to 22, and this is the best data they have? How do they acccount for the changing enviorment of the residents. What was the state of medicine in 1799, bloodletting? And in 1940, vaccines? If you go back farther into the past the age of the first birth was even lower.

    October 3, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
  79. sarah

    While I think evolution is true, I don't think these people evolved to give birth at an earlier age. Humans have always been able to give birth earlier. Teen pregnancies are very common. Some would consider 26 too old. This has to be a culturally related phenomena. Evolving isn't doing something you've always been able to do.

    October 3, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
  80. Questionable

    In answer to the title, No

    October 3, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
  81. leecherius

    Man will never know all there is to know..

    October 3, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
    • the real john

      there's a couple guys a few posts down who are smarter than God.

      October 3, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
      • fimeilleur

        Smarter than you, yes, smarter than a make believe deity? hard to tell...

        October 3, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
      • John

        Its hard for you to tell if you are smarter than something that isnt real? Thats rich.

        October 4, 2011 at 1:09 am |
    • leecherius

      Clever...but missed...since man will never know all ...religion will fill the void of the unknowable till the end of time , can't escape it , can't manipulate it , can't change it. Always has , always will my dear Watson.

      October 3, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
    • Dreamer96

      We peeked out with the pyramids, down hill ever since.

      October 3, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
      • Garsneezo

        The pyramids, huh? How you like typing on that computer there, buddy?

        October 3, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
      • Dreamer96

        Funny they built the pyramids without a computer, moved huge stone blocks, they did some things in the past we can not do now.

        October 3, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
      • HorseySauce

        Take a guess at how they built the pyramids? How would you build a stair like structure that you can stand on as your building it? They built one layer, then another one on that one using wooden slopes to push the blocks up. It's not a complicated concept once you think about it.

        October 3, 2011 at 10:15 pm |
      • Hadenufyet

        Pharaoh's pump...we still don't know how it worked.Google.

        October 3, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
    • Butthead

      Leecherious – religion IS the void.

      October 3, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
    • Sean

      Religion gives ultimate "knowledge" without any need for learning.

      October 3, 2011 at 10:12 pm |
  82. the real john

    my shoulder blades used to be wings!! i didnt eat insects in the air anymore so they fell off. and i had trouble reaching the trees so my neck magically grew longer. then one day i couldnt grab the branches and my flipper magically grew nubs. but i kept dying cuz my nubs couldnt pull leaves off.. but somehow, i didnt actually die. i kept living and my nubs turned into little fingers.. and the rest was history!! oh, i came from nothing too. it was real lonely back then.

    October 3, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
    • fimeilleur

      Not a clue about evolution, huh? It's ok, we understand... *pats head and smiles*

      October 3, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
      • Sean

        Even if it were condescending, your reply is funny as hell and right on target.

        October 3, 2011 at 10:13 pm |
    • Sean

      There's so much wrong with your analogy that it's hard to know when to begin. Individuals don't evolve; populations do. Nobody's anything "turned into" anything: Genetic traits that allowed individuals with those traits to reproduce more successfully than others then were represented more in following generations. THAT'S IT. This won't persuade you, because you're an idiot, but someone at least had to step up here and call foul on your analogy.

      October 3, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
      • fimeilleur

        Excellent answer... I guess I was a bit condescending... :-D

        October 3, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
    • the real john

      you guys are trying too hard to persuade me i am not an xman. I used to fly. i DO HAVE MEMORIES you know. you think you know everything!? Condescending human filth. Youll be sitting on the edge of a dead ocean one day patting yourself on the back for being so smart. by then my wings will have magically grown back and i will fly away. Dont worry, youll magically turn into a rock and feel right at home. have fun playing bumper cars with your brain stems college goons!!

      October 3, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
    • the real john

      Sean, let me take my clown hat off for a second, so as not to scare you. Your actual breakdown of what evolution claims is worse than my little story. and you are TRYING to be serious.Thats scary. Knowledge does not equal truth. Any philosophy 101 major should be able to break the news to you. clown hat back on. K boys, gotta look for some leaves to forage with my new found appendages!!

      October 3, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
      • Sean

        Um. Did you learn in Philosophy 101... or anywhere... that bald assertions, even when repeated, don't constitute evidence, or even an argument? What is "wrong" with my (accurate) portrayal of Darwinian natural selection, as opposed to your caricature that doesn't even pass muster as Lamarckian? Any specifics? Or even any generalities from your overtaxed, underpowered mind? (P.S., that was an "ad hominem" argument. Not a valid way to debate, but fun anyway.)

        October 3, 2011 at 10:16 pm |
      • John

        Sorry dude. I am bald though. While you had your head buried in your lamarkian student debt i was busy learning about truth and becoming wise. Your grip on vocabulary is stunning, as well as your memory. Text book regurgitation at its finest. You sir have won this bout. I lay my arms down. If i could bottle you i could make a million (because it would only be worth pennies). Once again your blinding semantics and loose grip of what we call "truth" here on earth has betrayed you. Knowledge does not equal truth. Debate? Pshhh. Id tear you up if we were on the board. Come at me with that weak college grade plutonium... Good night and sleep well.

        October 3, 2011 at 11:05 pm |
  83. JRD

    seriously anybody know that language?

    October 3, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
  84. evololution

    I love how he said no species has ever evolved extra appendages. Yet the spider, the centipede, the octopus, the birds, and the insects all say hello. If they all have a common species as is postulated, then at some point a species had to develop or lose extra limbs.

    October 3, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
    • Sean

      I think the members of a species that developed new limbs were then classified as a different species. So technically the comments was accurate, but a bit misleading.

      October 3, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
      • Brian

        He stated it correctly and is only referring to humans and other 4-legged animals. The animals you refer to, with differing body plans (Insects, Spiders etc.), split off well before 350 million years ago.
        "No mutations producing another pair of appendages have ever been observed – among humans or any four-legged creatures – in 350 million years."

        October 3, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
      • Brian

        My post didn't address the "Bird" inclusion in Evololution's statement. Birds didn't come about until much later of course, however, they too have 4 limbs.

        October 3, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
    • Judas Priest

      I love how your reading skills are about at a first-grade level, yet you insist on commenting anyway.

      October 4, 2011 at 10:23 am |
  85. Who

    Newsflash: The different races are "mutants" because DNA does mutate over time as a result of different environment...

    October 3, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  86. Massive Marbles

    Human evolution will be thrust upon us by men in secret laboratories across the world as they develop ideas to further human existence.

    October 3, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
    • Questionable

      Much the same way priests and pope force the masses to believe unexplained 'thruths" for what they do not understand.

      October 3, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
  87. eastwood1379@gmail.com

    As Allah the Supreme, the Exalted says in the Quran about the big bang,

    "Have those who disbelieved not considered that the heavens and the earth were a joined entity, and We separated them and made from water every living thing? Then will they not believe?" 21:30

    http://www.quranandscience.com

    October 3, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
    • Sean

      Everything is made of water? Who are you - Thales?

      October 3, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
    • Mr_Philosopher

      You're brainwashed, scared and stupid.

      October 4, 2011 at 12:43 am |
    • Judas Priest

      The quran seems to mix with science about as well as the bible does- which is to say, not at all until you judiciously apply word games, pretzel logic and wishful thinking.

      October 4, 2011 at 10:21 am |
      • Truthteller

        this is evidant in the Quran. it is not a word game.

        March 24, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
  88. The Lunatic

    Just the fact that there are different races is proof that humans are still evolving. For 50,000 years, humans spread slowly around the globe, across Asia, and into North and South America, and our skin colors adapted to the needs of the different regions. Then, 400 years ago, sailors started circumnavigating the globe and 60 years ago air travel made it easier than ever to go anywhere we want – so all the racial separations are going in a different direction. In 100 years, we'll all look like Jennifer Lopez!

    October 3, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • smukers

      Agreed 100%!

      October 3, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • the real john

      no.. not the age of the lopezites!!!

      October 3, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
    • B Huss

      We are all going to have big butts!?

      October 3, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
    • Humanoid

      There are people here who confuse evolution with adaptation.

      I know a man who owned a huge refrigeration storage unit. My father-in-law said to him:" At least you don't have to worry about mice"
      The man took him inside and showed him the mouse traps. Every single mouse had thick hair from the head to the ground. They adapted to the cold. They didn't evolve.

      October 3, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
      • fimeilleur

        Nice anecdote... I don't believe a word of what you are inferring, but maybe it's 'cause you don't see that this adaptation, over time, may lead to a new, weather robust, species of rodent...

        So to you, the Mammoth, Mastadon and Elephant are just adaptations of the same creature, created by ...

        October 3, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
      • JT

        An adaptation is simply a small evolutionary step. All living things evolve to better fit into its environment.

        October 3, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
      • Sean

        Guys, adaptation is the means by which populations evolve in Darwinian evolution. What you're saying is like saying, "Powered motion isn't an internal combustion engine. That car isn't moving under power - it's just using an internal combustion engine." Or "An internal combustion engine is simply a small step in powered motion."

        October 3, 2011 at 10:25 pm |
      • SpawnOfSwiss

        That IS evolution, genius.

        October 4, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • El Flaco

      The change in skin color IS evolution. Different environments favor different skin colors. A family of brown squirrels was brought to the southwestern desert about a hundred years ago. Now, those squirrels are sandy colored.

      October 3, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
  89. BiologyStudent

    First, evolution as a whole is true without a shadow of a doubt. You can't study biology at the collegiate level without realizing that every single thing discovered about every single aspect of biology points to evolution and a common origin of life, and furthermore the mechanism of natural selection grows naturally from what we know of genetics. I cannot stress enough that evolution is a fact, and the arguments put against it are at best inconclusive and usually either ignorant or intentionally dishonest.

    However, I'm skeptical of this article; a drop in age-of-first-birth probably indicates a social change rather than a biological change, and it's impossible to study humans as a whole outside their social context (though looking at genomes over time might work to some extent).

    October 3, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • Alex

      Actually, it is not fact, it is a theory, as is all science. As a biology student, you must be careful in how you convey science to laymen and peers. A scientist should always have a critical eye; looking for flaws in theory in order to advance knowledge and further refine our theories. While I definitely believe that evolution is our best explanation, it is by no means, absolute fact...

      October 3, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
      • JD

        Alex evolution is a theory just like gravity is a theory. Sure, just a theory. But gravity is so widely accepted as fact that nobody says "dang my theoretical gravity is too much. Maybe if I lost a few inches around my midsection my gravity would be less, in theory." No. They say, "dang I'm fat, I should lose weight."

        Hopefully one day we'll be able to talk about evolution without people jumping up saying "ooh ooh that's just a theory! Can't talk about it like it's fact yet!" I hope that day comes soon, because pointing out that it's a theory is getting old.

        October 3, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
      • Jason Price

        Evolution is a fact. The scientific community has put that argument to rest. Don't believe in it? Why do you think we have to make a new flu vaccine every year? The virus evolves so we constantly have to change our medicine to keep up with it. That's just one example but there are plenty more. Now what is not a fact is evolution of humans from a common hominid ancestor.

        Here's what he means by being dishonest. You said that all science is a theory that is not even close to true. We know the molecular composition of water is 2 parts hydrogen and 1 part oxygen. That is a fact. There is room for both theories and facts in science. Science is JUST a way of explaining how the universe works. Think of it like that.

        October 3, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
      • smukers

        You are absolutely correct, as another theory is that we have been planted here by Aliens transported from their dying Galaxy!

        October 3, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
      • AGuest9

        Alex, as a biology major, I guess you can also appreciate MRSA and the need for new flu vaccines every year. Scientists can be accused of splitting hairs, but this bickering over "just a theory" is really getting pointless, and is best, confusing the general population.

        October 3, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
      • JT

        First of all, a scientific theory is supported by facts. A scientific theory itself is not a fact but a body of facts. The theory of gravity is supported by facts. Also, facts aren't things we "believe" in but things we "accept". Most people would not say I believe in gravity. It's only when the ignorant and uninformed or refusal to accept due to religion, is it that people refuse the accept the facts supporting the theory of evolution. Also, there are thousands of facts supporting common descent.

        October 3, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
      • Humanoid

        In a zoo in England they mated a lion and a tiger. If the father was the lion – they called the cub a Liger. If the father was a tiger – they called the cub a tigon. It was just two different animals interbreeding.

        It's the same when 2 microbes interbreed; it isn't evolution.

        Bugs become immune to antibiotics; they haven't evolved, they've adapted.

        You can be too clever at times. Chill out and enjoy life.

        October 3, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
      • fimeilleur

        @ Humanoid,

        Unfortunately for you, your two examples, Tigon and Liger, are not able to produce viable offspring... this is an example of selective breeding, not evolution...

        Look up "ring species" and you'll see that this phenomenon fits perfectly with evolution, but creationists don't have a leg to stand on.

        October 3, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
      • The Dude

        You biology nerds are hilarious. We don't need a new flu vaccine every year because the flu is "evolving." We need a new flu vaccine every year because Pharmaceutical Salesmen need to get their annual sales bonuses and its easy to pitch "fear" to all of you lemmings who are gullible enough to believe in a completely unsubstantiatedand farsical theory. Flu vaccine marketing is kind of like how car commercials always remind you that you need the newest car; as if your 2009 model is somehow obsolete...

        Don't want the flu? Take your lazy, rotund selves outside and get some sunlight; then for kicks, try getting some exercise. Maybe even top it off with some organic food.

        Evolution of the Flu? Ok, genius. Luckily I have a $29.99 vaccine to sell you...

        The Dude

        October 3, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
      • fimeilleur

        The Dude,

        do you try to cure leprosy by killing a bird, dipping the feathers of a second bird into the blood of the first, and sprinkling it on the diseased leper? or do you seek the advice of a well advanced biology nerd? Just asking.

        October 3, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
      • The Dude

        Film-man,

        Nobody questions technology (thank god for engineers and inventors). We just laugh at you Dungeons and Dragons nerds who think that heinas can turn into bears and that your grandmother evolved from a rock. Yes, your childhood fantasies came true in your favorite Harry Potter book, but they have no place in real life. Someday when you are more obese than you are now, you will realize that instead of popping pills and injecting yourself full of chemicals in the fight against "evolution," you should have just gone for a jog out in the summer sun and consumed some food straight from God's green earth.

        Why do I care about your evolution-delusions? Because someday my tax dollars are going to pay to subidize your poor health because you were stupid enough to believe that the flu evolves and a $$$-driven drug could make you better. Honestly I won't mind paying into nationalized health care if I'm allowed to ridicule you fatty's.

        Never mind, you're right. Evolution is fact. All you fatty's are proof that man is changing before my eyes. Someday you fatty's will take over the world and all of us fit people will become extinct. Scientists of the future will look back in amazement to try and understand how the fatty-humanoids beat out the fit-humanoids in inter-species combat. Darwin was almost right; it wasn't survival of the fittest, it is survival of the fattest...

        October 3, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
      • Molly

        Humans make theories......Man Made.......Science is man's thoughts that they believe to be fact. But number one Fact is evolution is A theory that can't or has not be proven and IF we did evolve to our environments then Why in the world did our eyes not connect to our fingers??? think about it would be easier to look around a cave door for the dinosaurs ;) and until I see a Half ape Half human sooorry can't believe this theory filled with holes cause it is made up in some idiots mind of fairy tales and then was taken seriously by dummy like you!!! Sorry if you're basing you whole life's work on silliness like this but its totally flawed

        October 3, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
      • Sean

        Once again, "theory" when used in a term like "scientific theory," means a CONNECTED, MUTUALLY SUPPORTIVE SET OF EXPLANATIONS. Not a guess. You probably already knew that, or maybe you are seven years old.

        October 3, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
      • Sean

        fimeilleur, I <3 you. That is all.

        October 3, 2011 at 10:39 pm |
      • Ben

        @humanoid: If you accept adaptation, you accept the mechanics of evolution. It's an if-then. If adaptations can happen, it's literally impossible for evolution not to happen.

        October 4, 2011 at 12:47 am |
      • John

        Molly. Maybe thats where eyelashes came from. Eyeballs used to be on fingers and the lashes would sweep the dirt off the cave floor so they could see. Eyeballs eventually moved to the face when we walked on two legs. Sooner or later the eyelashes will fall off permanently since they arent on our fingers anymore. But when air pollution gets so bad we may evolve some eyeballs onto our toes so we can see once again, and toenails will turn into eyelashes. Ahh, the beauty of it all..

        October 4, 2011 at 1:21 am |
      • Phil

        and as a student you should know that in the science world, the word "theory" is an explanation of the facts.. I wonder what University you are attending

        October 4, 2011 at 1:56 am |
      • AGuest9

        Molly, were you home-schooled? Where would you come up with the idea that you would be looking for proof of evolution by looking for a half-ape, half-human? Please pick up Darwin's "The Origin of Species", or any high school biology book – SOON.

        October 4, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
      • fimeilleur

        @ The Dude,

        Wow... your lack of education is impressive... depressing, yet impressive none the less.
        1. Medical science is built on Biology, not technology. While technology has facilitated the surgical procedures and gave us non-invasive methods of diagnosis, your doctor still needs in-depth biological knowledge to cure your diseases.
        2. "hyenas can turn into bears and that your grandmother evolved from a rock" (I corrected your spelling for you... you can thank me later) What you just described would prove evolution wrong... so no, we don't hold these thoughts... but if you can prove this... you just might be the first to disprove evolution... good luck, I wish you well.
        3. Harry Potter deals with magic... not evolution or science... your Bible on the other hand... magic and miracles, invisible zombies, and a whole bunch of hocus pocus... I think you're projecting...
        4. Obese? Wow, you can guess my weight and health from a computer screen? more hocus pocus there... I think you're projecting again...
        5. "consumed some food straight from God's green earth"... I prefer food straight from Vishnu's green earth... or Ranginui's green earth...
        6. "evolution delusion"... the "God Delusion" is a much better book... you should read it. After all, your version of God is only confirmed by one source, a collection of writings from unknown authors written at unknown periods in human history, whereas evolution is supported by no less than 27 different scientific fields of study, including biology, archeology, geology, astronomy and others.
        7. and finally, the egocentric narcism continues... this is known as a "straw man argument"... what it really does for you, is points out how truly week your argument is. Even if the fattest man in the world were to say that water is wet, it would not take away from the fact that water IS wet... his weight has no bearing on the factual accuracy of his claim. What does have a bearing on the factual credibility of a claim is the sound reasoning of the person who is making the claim... so if I were to put this to a vote: who thinks The Dude is a complete moron VS who thinks FIMEILLEUR is a complete moron... who do you think would come out on top as the most credible person in this discussion?

        October 4, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
      • fimeilleur

        @ Sean,

        *blushes and drags big toe in sand bashfully*

        October 4, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
    • Dave

      Evolution is a fact. The theory is Natural Selection which is one of a few theories on why Evolution occurs.Evolution itself is an observed phenomenom.

      October 3, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
      • The Dude

        Evolution is a fact? Really... That explains how I saw a cat give birth to puppies last week. My buddy has a parrot that gave birth to a dog. My grandpa once told me about a time that a gorilla at the zoo gave birth to an elephant.

        Wait a second, none of that ever happens in real life. That only happens in cartoons. Which means if evolution is true, we are living in a cartoon!!! Or maybe this is Tron or Star Wars... Evolution is totally true in Star Wars. Somebody should call George Lucas and ask him to evolve some Jedi Nights to kick the butts of all these real-life evolution heretics who mock the Temple of Evolution and spit on the "holy" books of prophet Darwin.

        Whoa, that's strange, my finger just sprouted a feather...

        October 3, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
      • The Dude

        Please get your own Nick. I am the original "The Dude" and I do not appreciate you making me look like an complete moron.

        October 3, 2011 at 8:18 pm |
    • the real john

      jeesh, is that what they are taking your money and teaching you these days. evolution is without a doubt 100 percent true? since when did college become church?

      October 3, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
      • fimeilleur

        When did church become true?

        October 3, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
      • Sean

        BURN!!! LOLOLOL

        October 3, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
      • John

        Good lord, you both have the comprehension of a garbage bag. How did you miss the point.

        October 4, 2011 at 1:26 am |
      • fimeilleur

        @ John,
        Are you saying his point was that people are accepting lessons taught in college without question? (As they do in church?)

        If so, that is also factually wrong. Evolution is the most heavily tested theory in science. Everyday, around the world, someone is trying to disprove the theory, one way or another, and they have been doing it for over 150 years. So even at one a day, for 150 years, that means 55,000 scientist have failed to disprove the theory... I think these numbers alone disprove the claim that people accept what is taught in college without question.

        October 4, 2011 at 9:12 pm |
    • JT

      BiologyStudent, I agree with you. Another example is that humans are much taller and larger than just 100 years ago. This is not the result of evolution but of better nutrition and better access to food, etc. It is a fact that animals evolve over time and not always for the better...as we perceive it.

      October 3, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
    • BiologyStudent

      Alex, "theory" means far more in science than it does to a non-scientist; you need nigh-unimpeachable evidence to call something a theory, and the evidence for evolution is far beyond unimpeachable. You'd have a better case questioning the theory of gravity; physicists still don't agree on what makes gravity tick.

      Smukers, that's a fringe hypothesis, not a theory. Please refrain from clouding the issue with pointless tangents.

      Humanoid: Ligers and tigons do actually show that the two parental species have recent common ancestry and enough common genes to create a live, albeit sterile, hybrid, but otherwise have nothing to do with evolution. As to the bacteria, they actually are a classic case of evolution, as the non-resistant bacteria die off, selecting for antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

      Adaptation is when an individual changes to its environment (such as a single rat growing longer fur for the winter), evolution is when a species changes to its environment because some individuals are more fit to survive and reproduce in that environment (such as when the longest-haired rats in a population of rats survive better after moving into a colder environment).

      The Dude: Stop buying into alternative medicine quacks. Vaccines are based in scientific fact, and are safe and effective. Exercise and diet help, but are not a magic bullet.

      the real john: Yeah, I'd say I'm getting my money's worth out of college, thank you very much.

      JT: There actually could be a small selective effect for height; it'd just be buried in the effects of improvements to diet and healthcare. Similar to this article, actually; it's possible there's an evolutionary effect, but whoever wrote the article failed to consider alternate explanations, ones which are far more likely to explain the bulk of the trend in birth ages.

      October 3, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
      • Mark A. Taff

        Well said, and thanks for doing so. I too thought this study (at least the way it is reported) is B.S.

        Changing cultural norms could very easily explain the drop in the average age of first childbirth, without having to invoke evolution.

        October 3, 2011 at 11:43 pm |
    • Neal

      Yikes, you've drank the kool-aid! From the perspective of the mind sucking Darwinian vortex, none of biology makes sense without evolution. The disconnection of the evidence between the actual small changes we observe and the "goo to you" fairy tale is astounding.

      October 4, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
      • Dan

        Neal, the notion that "saying something over and over eventually makes it true" is only the case in politics. It doesn't fly in the sciences. You copying and pasting the same vacuous comments over and over doesn't make an argument, doesn't support your beliefs, doesn't further your cause, doesn't make you look intelligent.
        I'm actually in the beginning stages of becoming convinced you're just a troll who actually believes in evolution, and wants to make creationists look stupid, not merely holding a different (though baseless) opinion.

        October 5, 2011 at 11:52 am |
  90. Casey

    What a load of crap LOL

    October 3, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • Mr_Philosopher

      NO U

      October 4, 2011 at 12:44 am |
  91. diego

    humans are evolving to become dumber. people with lower IQ have more offsprings and the dumb genes will become more prevalent. anyone can see that it's already happening by reading cnn articles and comments

    October 3, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
    • me

      I'm afraid I must agree. Most of my physician and scientist colleagues have no or one child while two blocks away, the heathen pump them out from age 14. Education resulting in a high standard of living results in few offspring and many taxes that become Welfare checks for the breeding poor. How did this happen? I'm tired of paying for tweens' babies.

      October 3, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
    • BucketDrop

      Um, dude, you are getting your reality mixed up with Hollywood movies...that was a movie, not a science lesson.

      October 3, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • AGuest9

      diego & me, look no farther than these blogs for proof. :(

      October 4, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  92. jt_flyer

    No it’s not like that at all. It has to do with Adam and Eve frolicking in the Garden of Eden. Just ask Rick Perry.

    October 3, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • smukers

      Absolutely correct! We are all destined to spend an eternity of torture, 24/7 in Ricky Perry's contrived "god hell".

      October 3, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
  93. Seeker76

    I don't think you can make Evolution that simple. I believe Darwin himself said that the problem with evolution is everyone thinks they understand it. There are tenets that are part of evolutionary theory that seem very likely and necessary. Some, not so much, and harder to prove. These things together are evolutionary theory. Some elements probably are true. You cannot prove it, so to believe it is faith. So who says scienve and faith can't work together? At the same time, creationism is not God's Handbook on How to create a Universe. We all have faith in something. The randomness necessary for evolution is the problem.

    October 3, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • Cincinatheist

      *Sigh*. Evolution is not a random process. The genetic variation on which natural selection acts may occur randomly, but natural selection itself is not random at all. The survival and reproductive success of an individual is directly related to the ways its inherited traits function in the context of its local environment. Whether or not an individual survives and reproduces depends on whether it has genes that produce traits that are well adapted to its environment.

      October 3, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
      • Mike CT

        not with molecular genetics

        October 3, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
      • AGuest9

        Mike, I think we are seeing things occurring in various realms similarly. Most sciences will require two fields in the near future: a classical (or macro) science, and a "modern" (or sub-micro) science. I am drawing labels from physics, here, obviously. Physics is one such area, including electronic and nano technology areas, which has both a Newtonian component, as well as a non-Newtonian ("modern") component as you make deeper observations. Underlying mechanisms beneath the more familiar processes are being discovered that are quite chaotic (you may be familiar with "Brownian" motion, which, admittedly, is not new). This was part of the breakthrough with chaos theory during the 1980s. Now, stochastic processes have a much greater focus as the underlying foundation of the upper strata of a technology, partly due to advanced computer simulations and observational apparatus. In other words, you and Cincinatheist are both correct.

        October 4, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
    • belief?

      Faith is belief in the absence of evidence.
      Science is the accumulation of evidence to support belief.
      Faith and science are fundamentally incompatible.

      October 3, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
      • Really?

        I thought true Science was the accumulation of information from which people would try to draw conclusions. The idea is you do not have a belief first, and then go out and try to find evidence for it, ignoring any that does not support your belief. The idea is to gather observations and information and then try to figure out what it means only from the information collected.

        Perhaps I am wrong.

        Belief and Science are not incompatible, I know many scientists who are believers. The important thing is to understand which things are beliefs and which are repeatable observations that can be used to support a theory. We must not state one is the other.

        If you can do that, there is no great problem believing in a creator God, and still working hard to unravel by experiment and observation just what structures were used to and continue to be used to make creation happen.

        Or is everyone on here just venting cause they can?

        October 3, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
      • fimeilleur

        @Really?

        "the creator God" you talk about? do you mean Mbombo? Atum or Ptah? Unkulunkulu? Nanabozho? Coatlique? Viracocha? Esege Malan? Kamuy? Izanagi and Izanami? Marduk killing Tiamat? Vishvakarman? Brahma? The sons of Borr? Rod? Ranginui? or Elohim? Please keep in mind that there is equal evidence to support the existence of each of these creator gods... which is to say none of them...

        Just asking.

        October 3, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
      • smukers

        "Faith" is simply, "imagination".

        October 3, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
      • sharoom

        To Really?: Yes science is all about accumulating information in order to draw conclusions, but I do not know how you got the idea that scientists will ignore any data which doesn't support a "belief" (I think you are referring to a hypothesis? Sure, scientists may hope the hypothesis is true, but ultimately they accept if the data shows the hypothesis to be false). Any scientist who consciously does so is guilty of being a bad scientist and of scientific fraud.

        October 4, 2011 at 8:19 pm |
  94. GnatB

    I make no claim to being an expert, but wouldn't it be likely that women having kids earlier would more likely be due to societal changes than genetic evolution?

    Pretty sure that women have been biologicall able to have children prior to their mid twenties for centuries, if not millenia. So changing genetics wouldn't have anything to do with this change. The *potential* was there all along for earlier children. The fact that they didn't was presumably due more to societies restrictions.

    October 3, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  95. noel

    let us all know when they can actually explain how the precambrian explosion works counter to their precious theories... jsyk

    October 3, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • El Flaco

      We'll be sure that you're the first to know.

      October 3, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • Cincinatheist

      The Cambrian explosion does not invalidate the theory of evolution in any way. I can think of five possibilities off the top of my head that would explain the "explosion" perfectly within the framework defined by evolution. A quick Google search will yield plenty of trustworthy scientific sources on the topic. There is nothing inherently improbable about the "explosion." But one thing is for sure, we're pretty damned sure that a global flood wasn't the cause.

      October 3, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
      • fimeilleur

        you hit the nail on the head... unfortunately, Noel asked for an explanation of the PRE-cambrian explosion... and you haven't answered that... nothing to do with the fact that the pre-cambrian explosion doesn't exist... but this is the play on words that creationists thrive on... we must continue to LOL at them... it is the only thing we can do.

        October 3, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
      • John

        Yes, you must continue to LOL at them (please,if you can hear me.. Help me out of here)

        October 3, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
    • boxofochocolate

      Who is "their" and who is "us"?-oh I got it-the ole Science vs Religion thing again-get over it-your age old practice of holy men and holy books is outdated and you are outnumbered-the sooner religion goes by the way side, the better for humanity...Go XMEN!!! :D

      October 3, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
    • Daniel

      You probably meant the CAMBRIAN explosion, because there is no precambrian explosion. Anyway, how long do you think this "explosion" took place? Do you realize that is called an explosion only in a geolocial-time sense? It lasted for around 80 MILLION YEARS, I think. At least 50. Not so fast now, is it?

      October 4, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
  96. noel

    more fairy tales from those who worship the scientific method...typical cnn rag article!!!
    btw-obamanos!!!

    October 3, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • David, CA

      So- let's hear your "theory" princess. I'm assuming you've got one since you're childishly deriding some pretty strong evidence. And please, no talking snakes, evil apple trees, rib people, or solar systems created in 6 days. Those really are just fairy tails and creation myths.

      October 3, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
    • boxofochocolate

      please be nice to Noel,-he knows not what he says-he is the village idiot and we should all just give him some candy and a pat on the head.

      October 3, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
    • JT

      You benefit every second because of the scientific method...you hypocrit. Throw out your PC you use to display your ignorance to the world. It wasn't prayed into existence. No doubt you will be voting for Rick Perry.

      October 3, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
    • Neal

      Noel, while I agree with where you're going with this, the problem that I have observed with evolutionists is that they have departed from the scientific method – especially in popular literature.

      October 4, 2011 at 11:28 am |
      • Peter

        There is no such thing as an "evolutionist." The correct term is "scientist."

        October 20, 2011 at 9:47 am |
  97. JM

    I guess I'm missing some connection. If women are giving birth at a younger age, what does it actually mean? It suggests a cultural change rather than genetic. Since women are mature enough to give birth in their early teens physically, what does a a change from 26 to 22 really say? Their environment (physical and social) has changed in such a way as to facilitate earlier births, but genetically nothing has changed. Now, in X years when the birth age gets to 10, that'll suggest natural selection favoring younger ages to the point where genetics have altered, since that would be pushing the boundaries of what is possible. At that point you could clearly see a selection for a specific trait emerging, in this case reaching maturity at a younger age.

    October 3, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
    • Seeker76

      That is what I was thinking. It doesn't seem conclusive. I wonder if there is something I am missing or not included in the article.

      October 3, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • kake79

      I'm confused about why they are touting this as some great new evidence. Haven't we already known about these small changes over the course of hundreds of years? For example, the average man went from an average height of about 5'5" in the 1700's to 5'10" today.

      October 3, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
      • kake79

        I forgot to say that... Isn't "race" (i.e. skin coloration) an evolutionary trait, too? Didn't we – over time – gain or lose melanin depending on where we were living? Those is sunnier climes had more melanin to protect against the sun and those in darker climes had less in order to maximize the sun's rays they could absorb for proper vitamin production?

        I'm sure there are other things I'm not thinking of. My point is... this is nothing really new or exciting for science.

        October 3, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
      • AGuest9

        I'm not sure that height isn't as much to do with diet in most areas of the world as it is heredity. I know many men who are taller than their fathers, but also had a better diet, especially as youth, than their fathers. The height of very tall bushmen, and people of African descent who are taller than average aren't necessarily taller due to recent evolution.

        October 4, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • AGuest9

      Women are giving birth at a younger age??? Women gave birth at 15 and 16 in my mother's generation (not her, personally), as well as in mine. Since when is that a new phenomenon?

      October 4, 2011 at 11:48 am |
  98. HermanTurnip

    "No mutations producing another pair of appendages have ever been observed – among humans or any four-legged creatures – in 350 million years. That's among millions of different species – not only our own. It's not going to happen."

    Don't tell that to the circus freaks with extra arms / legs sprouting out of them.

    October 3, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
    • Drowlord

      Wasn't a sheep recently born in New Zealand with 7 legs?

      October 3, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
      • Mephisto

        Actually it was a seven assed Galapagos turtle.

        October 3, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
    • Sercee

      I was thinking that too, that there's quite a few cases of animals being born with extra appendages, but I think they might be excluding isolated incidents like that lamb which aren't exactly mutations as much as birth defects (although that could probably be extensively debated that they're the same thing). Maybe they mean such mutations in which the original creature not only survives but produces offspring that inherit and exhibit the mutation as well. Like polydactyl cats.

      October 3, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
      • Really?

        Often what appears to be mutations of additional limbs are the remains of a siamese twin that is encased in the surviving body. I have read articles of additional limbs appearing on all kinds of mammals.

        However, unlike our favorite sci-fi, most mutations are not beneficial or even workable. These extra limbs usually just kind of stick out awkwardly and don't help you run faster or fly.

        October 3, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
    • all six fingers

      No mutations with extra appendages? What about this boy?

      http://www.ktvu.com/news/18608582/detail.html

      October 3, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
      • Neal

        Jumping to conclusions... Folks with six fingers have been born throughout history... their even mentioned in the Bible... yet the mutation never becomes established in the general human population. This is another of the big obstacles with evolution.. getting those mutations into the general population.

        October 4, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • AGuest9

      I guess polydactyly would surprise you, then.

      October 4, 2011 at 11:45 am |
  99. sumday

    "evolution by natural selection" now that is a contradication. natural selection only reduces- you select down to something or reduce the population. Natural selection alone can by no means account for what first gave rise to the many different types to select from. I can show you how something was selected against but I can't tell you how many species first arose to be selected from.

    October 3, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • SickofScienceDoubters

      Easy enough to describe... mutation. Random changes accumulate over time. Then evolutionary pressure in the form of climate changes, introduction of new predators or diseases, or sexual selection eliminate some traits and all others to pass on. If a species comes isolated in multiple locations geographically, then it will eventually diverge into different species. This is not a discrete process but a continuous one.

      October 3, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
      • AL

        It seems like mutation is rather unuseful. Why would anyone ever need 6 fingers? I thought evolution meant evolving to a more useful form?

        October 5, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
      • fimeilleur

        Not necessarily, and just because you can't think of a use for it, doesn't make it un-usefull.

        October 5, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
    • sharoom

      Yes, mutations accumulate and produce more diversity in species through time. Natural selection acts upon this diversity if there is a pressure to do so. But another thing to keep in mind, variation doesn't have to arise through a single mutation in one single gene. It can also be a combination of genes involved in polygenic traits such as hair color or height. Also, in sexual reproducing species like humans, homologous recombination during meiosis allows different sets of genes to be mixed and matched from the parental DNA (which is why all children are genetically unique except identical twins). Thus, in humans, we have a sort of system to automatically reinforce introduction of variation.

      October 3, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
      • Harper

        "No mutations producing another pair of appendages have ever been observed – among humans or any four-legged creatures – in 350 million years. That's among millions of different species – not only our own. It's not going to happen."
        I beg to differ:
        If fingers are appendages, then meet the 12 fingered, 12 toed man:
        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/26/cuban-man-24-proud-of-his_n_938729.html#s361581
        And if coconut tree climbing was an extremely desirable human trait, humans would soon breed in that trait through natural selection......

        October 20, 2011 at 12:05 am |
    • The_Mick

      No, Natural Selection does not "reduce." There are spontaneous mutations that can cause NEW traits. If these traits allow the person who has them to better survive and reproduce in his place in the world, than he is selected by nature: Natural Selection. For example, there were were sure once lizards on Galapagos that could not survive long in the sea and excrete salts. When a new trait appeared that allowed for that, lizards living along the seaside were "selected" for by nature.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
      • frespech

        So evolution is kinda like a magic trick.

        October 5, 2011 at 9:04 am |
      • Dan

        frespeech – Yes, actually evolution is kinda like a magic trick. It's something that, when you first look at it, is difficult to understand or describe, but once you understand its underlying mechanisms is actually quite intuitive and simple.

        October 5, 2011 at 10:39 am |
  100. легкие металлоконструкции

    Її Задоволення зрозуміти вашого блогу. Вище статтях досить незвичайна, і я дійсно любив читати ваш блог і моменти, які ви висловили. Мені дуже подобається з'являтися вже більш типовою основі, повідомлення набагато більше в тему. Дякуємо за розділення ... продовжуйте писати!

    October 3, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • gcamacho33

      Baxter, you know I don't speak Spanish

      October 3, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
      • hgfhgh

        LOL

        October 3, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
    • Hmmm

      Thats Ukranian... and that is advertisement of some construction components...

      October 3, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
      • fimeilleur

        Well he sure picked the right place to advertise...

        October 3, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
    • JT

      I just have one thing to say...NYET!

      October 3, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
      • AL

        "Nyet" would be russian!

        October 5, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
1 2

Contributors

  • Elizabeth LandauElizabeth Landau
    Writer/Producer
  • Sophia DengoSophia Dengo
    Senior Designer