¿Estamos evolucionando todavía?

NEW HAVEN – Muchas decisiones de políticas públicas se basan en supuestos implícitos sobre la "naturaleza humana", y en la actualidad es popular especular acerca de cómo la evolución puede haber dado forma al comportamiento y la sicología humana. Sin embargo, esto plantea algunas preguntas importantes: ¿seguirán evolucionando los seres humanos -y, de ser así, ¿está cambiando nueva naturaleza biológica básica- o la cultura moderna ha detenido la evolución?

Para algunos rasgos no tenemos que especular: podemos medir y comparar tomando como base estudios que cubren a miles de personas a lo largo de varias generaciones. Aún no se han hecho estos estudios sobre la mayoría de los rasgos en que la especulación es popular, pero sí acerca de algunos rasgos de interés médico. ¿Qué hemos aprendido?

Los científicos están adoptando dos enfoques. En uno, secuencian el DNA de genes particulares en muchos individuos con o sin un problema de salud determinado y buscan diferencias entre los dos grupos. Este método genético mide los efectos que se han acumulado a lo largo de cientos a miles de generaciones, y el mensaje es claro: los seres humanos han evolucionado en estos aspectos de manera bastante reciente, algunos en una dirección, otros en otra, dependiendo de su medio ambiente y otras condiciones con las que se encontraron.

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