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The Times: “Leading Geneticist Steve Jones Says Human Evolution is Over” That’s one small step for a man, one giant falling-flat-on-its-face step for mankind’s evolution.
Human evolution may be a thing of the past, according to a leading geneticist (and a debate opponent of AiG President Ken Ham on BBC-TV many years ago). Of course, that’s nothing new for those of us who didn’t believe it in the first place!
According to University College London professor Steve Jones, human evolution is slowing and may stop because of the disappearance of older fathers in Western societies. No, not the literal disappearance; rather, Jones points out that males are no longer having children in older age, as was once common.
So what does this have to do with (supposed) evolution? Jones discussed the topic in a lecture at University College London titled, “Human Evolution is Over.” Jones first discussed the three components of evolution: natural selection, mutation, and random change. Older fathers are more likely to pass on mutations, said Jones, because cell divisions in males increase with age. Jones explained to the Times:
Every time there is a cell division, there is a chance of a mistake, a mutation, an error. For a 29-year old father [which the Times notes is the mean age of reproduction in the West] there are around 300 divisions between the sperm that made him and the one he passes on – each one with an opportunity to make mistakes. For a 50-year-old father, the figure is well over a thousand. A drop in the number of older fathers will thus have a major effect on the rate of mutation.
Thus, the societal trend against older fathers is allegedly dampening human evolution, compared to the ordinariness of men in centuries past fathering children as they grew older.
Jones also notes that modern medicine, care-giving, and agriculture have overcome natural selection and randomness. “In ancient times half our children would have died by the age of 20,” he noted. “Now, in the Western world, 98 per cent of them are surviving to 21. . . . Worldwide, all populations are becoming connected and the opportunity for random change is dwindling.”
Because mutations are harmful in the vast majority of circumstances, it’s possible that this trend will prove beneficial for the human race, just as modern medicine, care-giving, and agriculture have. Of course, in the eyes of evolutionists, it’s the one rare mutation that invents a new anatomical feature that drives the evolutionary story forward, so perhaps this news may upset them!
Also interesting was Jones’s comment about the effect of globalization on the human race: “We are mixing into a global mass, and the future is brown.” This reminds us that we are all one race (Acts 17:26), with our skin merely different shades of brown as caused after the dispersion at Babel (Genesis 11).
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