我们是否还在进化?

发自纽黑文——许多公众政策决策都基于某种对“人性”的假设,而最近人们也非常热衷于谈论进化究竟是如何塑造人类行为和心理的。但这也随之引出了若干重要问题:人类是否依然在进化——如果是的话,我们的生物特性是否在不断改变?——或者现代文明已经令我们的进化陷于停滞?

对于人类的某些特性,我们不需要去妄加猜测——因为已经有覆盖几代人以及数千个样本的研究可供分析比较。虽然这类研究还未能涵盖人们感兴趣的大多数生理特性,但出于医学研究的需要,人们也开展了对其中一些特性的研究。那么这些研究又揭示了什么呢?

科学家们运用两种方法进行研究:一是提取出具有特定健康问题的人的特定基因DNA序列,将其与其他人群进行对比并找出两者的差异之处。这种基因方法可以测量出那些经过数百甚至数千代人积累下来的进化效果,而且结果很明确:人类是在一个相对较短的时期内对这些特性进行进化的,有些人向这个方向进化,而另一些人则选择了不同的路径,这取决于他们的生存环境以及其他特殊情况。

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