What I don't understand (or maybe simply can't accept) was the hue and cry over China's One Child Policy. They were facing a major population explosion and calculated that they simply couldn't feed all those additional mouths. So it was a logical way to deal with population pressure.
No amount of innovative ideas are going to stem the disaster awaiting us from population overgrowth. We are simply not subject to the laws of evolution, because we have found ways to keep those who are less fit alive and able to reproduce. I'm not criticizing that, because from a humanistic viewpoint, life, even with disabilities or chronic illness, is valuable, but the other side of the issue is that we can't afford to keep on supporting families of 4, 8 or 16 children. So how are we going to get the people of the world to see that problem before it is upon us? Mere provision of birth control is not the answer. It has to be better education for the poor, and active resistance to fundamentalist religions.
Of course we're still subject to Evolution. We're always subject to Evolution. Technology simply changes the environmental conditions which select for certain traits.
It's just that without socially-imposed limits, we're selecting for ignorance, carelessness, and bat-shit crazy (by which I mean the Quiverfull movement and Nadya 'Octo-mom' Suleman).
Umm, you want me to list all of the insane cults in this country? The character limit on these text entry boxes isn't that high.
Actually, don't agree with all of your comments, but I have similar feelings about welfare. By all means, take care of the children that are already here, but once someone goes on welfare, they get a birth-control implant to keep them from having any more.
The problem with China's one child policy comes not from religion, but from another deeply rooted illogical belief based in culture. Respectively their belief that only a son is a worthy child to have. Now they are facing (forgive the bluntness) a severe deficit of women, because families prefer that their one child be a male. So, although I agree in principle that such a policy is desirable, in practice it proves to be disastrous because of lack of rationality.
I say first eliminate such ridiculous beliefs (that a man is more worthy to carry on the family name) and then apply the policy.
Or you know what? I would even agree to a two child policy. If we cannot reduce the population let us at least not increase it. I would say seven billion of us is quite sufficient!
Irrationality is everywhere! My rational, but never to be realized idea about surnames is that the boys should get their father's name and the girls should get their mother's name, and so you would avoid the atrocities of hyphenated hyphenated names, but have a chance to carry on either, and just the luck of the draw what you get.
I do believe in a one-child policy, not that it's ever going to happen, because 7 billion is more than sufficient -- we're ruining the world. Everyone could eat tuna if there were, say, only 2 billion of us, and not endanger the species. There would be room to let significant areas stay wild, and room for farms and cities, and enough people to maintain technology while not leaving an unduly large footprint. I truly believe that current overpopulation is the root of all the other environmental evils of our time, and that's with large populations living in poverty and at the edge of starvation. I would rather see a much smaller population living as comfortably as the middle class in the US, with medical care for mothers and infants, and the elderly taken care of until they die a natural death. Idealist, I am!!
Evolution in Man:
Descendents of people who survived the pneumonic plague now carry a gene which makes them immune to HIV.
Because there was no husbandry, prehistoric man did not evolve to digest milk (except mothers milk during early years). Lactose tolerance in now increasing in certain populations.
Some mid-eastern groups have developed immunity to malaria.
Lactose tolerance is a strange thing, and I don't think very much is officially known about it. An example is, they say Asians are almost always lactose intolerant. But after Japan started growing economically, and started giving their children milk, guess what -- they could tolerate lactose after all, even into adulthood.
I also have my own personal experience. I once gave up all milk products for several months because someone told me they thought it was the cause of my allergies. Well, it wasn't. So I started to drink milk at lunchtime every day. And every day, like clockwork, at 5 PM, I would have severe cramping and diarrhea. But I was pretty stupid, because I never made the connection. And after a couple of months, guess what? The cramps and diarrhea went away, and I was once more able to drink milk.
So it seems to me that lactose tolerance is simply based on continuing to drink milk in sufficient quantities to maintain production of the enzyme that breaks it down. And it has nothing to do with evolution.
Carriers of one copy of the sickle-cell gene are resistant to malaria. Those that have no copies either die or are very sick, and those that have 2 copies get sickle-cell anemia. But this is in Africa, not the Middle-East. In the Middle East and Mediterranean regions, they have thalassemia, another form of anemia, but I have never heard of it being connected with malaria.
Well my Japanese example is not a single anecdote. My own anecdote was simply a case of recovery of lactose tolerance -- anecdotes can spur studies, because at least you know it is possible.
What I am saying is that if the Japanese are an example, it may well be that never giving up milk can cause the body to retain the ability to digest it. That's different from STARTING to drink milk. And means that lactose intolerance is acquired (by stopping the drinking of milk), not genetic.
Natalie, you are trying my patience. Please go to the literature.
My initial point was simply that man is still evolving, regardless of my poorly phrased replies. There are oodles of studies and research.