Evolution nowadays

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: March 11, 2019

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Submitted: March 11, 2019

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Evolution is the most common theory as to how life on Earth today has became what it is, but a lot of people tend to forget it's not in the past. Evolution is the outcome of fitness and genetic divercity, and genetic mutations happen all the time in our cells. Mutations make our DNA different and can lead to changes in our appearance or behaviour. As time passes, the mutations that are useful to the individual and help them survive, become more common in the whole population. This is evolution.

Evolution can be caused by several things, like isolation for example. A good example of evolution caused by isolation is the Australian wildlife, especially the amount of different marsupials. There are marsupials in Americas as well, but ther are a lot less. Australia however, has been quite isolated for a long time, causing the wildlife to evolve into a unique environment. 

Evolution usually takes a lot of time, even millions of years, but one good example of fast evolution is viruses. Viruses aren't considered to be alive, because of their lack of metabolism, cell structure and inability of reproduction without a living cell of another organism. Viruses do have DNA or RNA however, and those are vulnerable to mutations as well. The fact that each year the influenza virus is a little difrent, is due to the fast evolution of the virus. 

Bacteria and their antbiotic resistance is another good example. Bacteria is a haploid, meaning it only has one of each chromosome, as opposed to humans for example. We have 46 chromosomes, which are paired in 23 pairs. The haploidy causes mutations in the DNA/RNA in bacteria to evolve fast, as all mutations can be seen right away. This fast evolution in bacteria has lead to the antibiotic resistance in some bacteria, in just a few decades. 

We should also remember that humans evolve as well. Yes, we've been quite similar for thousands of years, but everyone has signs of evolution in their body. A good example is wisdom teeth. We don't really need them for anything, but before humans learned to tame fire and cook meat, adult humans may have lost a few teeth on the way. The lack of toothbrushes and dentists didn't help either, and a few extra teeth in the adulthood was a necessary thing. 

Another thing that some people are missing, is palmaris longus, a tendon in your inner forearm. It was used by "humans" when we were still climbing in trees, but as we nowadays walk with our feet and don't need as much arm strenght, about 15 %  of the population is missing this tendon. You can check it by bringing all your fingers together or making a fist. This is also one of the easiest proof to see without genetic testing, that we are related to other hominoids and that their evolution is quite similar. For exmple, orangutans still all use this same tendon, but some other species, like chimpanzees, also some lack it, as their living environments and habits differ. 

It's hard to say how humans will evolve in the future. One possible way would be through the colonalization of space, if that happens. A small population would live isolated and the only genes in that population would be from their anchestors, causing the population to maybe become different from us. They could have their own diseases that we didn't have, or 90 % of the population would be allergic to corn or something. Another possible way would be through gene mutation through medicine, like with CRISPR. It's a technique that allowes replacing unwanted genes with better ones. A Chinese doctor tried this on human babies, and now nobody really knows where he is (probably planning world domination with the government, who knows?) but creating designed babies is not going to happen tomorrow, as it's ot quite ethical in most people's eyes. It is, in theory, possible though, and no matter what happens, evolution in the future will be interesting, like it has been so far.


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