An argument of those that refute Darwin’s Theory of Evolution has been that there is no evidence of evolution continuing to occur in humans or other animals. They demand to know, “what has evolved lately?” Or, “why,” they ask, “can’t we see evolution happening today if it is such a fundamental characteristic of life?”

Over the past 200 years, there has been an increase in the incidence of humans possessing an artery in the forearm that used to wither away in the fetus prior to birth, and it may have ties to evolution in humans. In a report by Flinders University anatomist, Teghan Lucas, it is stated that the prevalence of this median artery “was around 10% in people born in the mid-1880s compared to 30 percent in those born in the late 20th century, so that's a significant increase in a fairly short period of time, when it comes to evolution."

It is predicted that by the year 2100, almost all humans will possess this artery. In the same article, it is noted that, “This rapid rise of the median artery in adults isn't unlike the reappearance of a knee bone called the fabella, which is also three times more common today than it was a century ago.” These anatomical changes are examples of human evolution in action, pure and simple.

Aside from those well-documented indications of ongoing evolution in human anatomy, I also have the impression that more and more people are exhibiting a diminution of intelligence and common sense, with a resulting increase in stupidity and pig-headed, foolish behavior. This, in turn, could represent the onset of a new, evolutionary shrinkage of cortical tissue of the human brain. The latter, however, is merely a personal observation that has yet to undergo scientific scrutiny.

Scott Mendleson

Roseburg

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CitizenJoe

Scott, I have to disagree with you, a bit. A tripling of the prevalence of the median artery in just four-six generations through either selection or drift would be unimaginable; if it is through natural selection, it would have to have an almost impossible selection pressure (and this artery seems unlikely to be consequential); if it's through drift, then we are living in a simulation and somebody is really, really jiggering the math. I figure it has to be environmental--just as we see far fewer cases of neural tube defects now that pregnant women get more folate and B12. And we have more fabelas, likely, due to better nutrition and longer tibiae. But I have to thank you: I had pleasant flashbacks to my old anatomy textbook, that described anatomic variations among humans and compared them with different species, too. (I recall that a small percentage of humans have a discontinuous mediastinum, but that it is present in all dolphins.) Evolution can happen fast, but not that fast regarding inconsequential changes. Now, if a population of rabbits meets a new myxovirus, the selection pressures are enormous. Ditto bacteria meeting a new antibiotic. Median arteries? Not so much, I think. But re the rest of your observations: that's my gestalt, yes, but the evidence is that people are smarter and better, generation to generation. No doubt, you have read Pinker's The Better Angels of Our Nature, and maybe you have seen Bregman's more recent Humankind. I am inspired by their work, and by what I see among young people today.

Mike

I thought the column was about our President and I was set to agree.

Scott Mendelson

There are suspicions that he has Orangutan ancestry.

sectorstar

"Aside from those well-documented indications of ongoing evolution in human anatomy, I also have the impression that more and more people are exhibiting a diminution of intelligence and common sense, with a resulting increase in stupidity and pig-headed, foolish behavior. This, in turn, could represent the onset of a new, evolutionary shrinkage of cortical tissue of the human brain. The latter, however, is merely a personal observation that has yet to undergo scientific scrutiny."

I agree with your statement 100 percent there, and yes there is something very wrong with the IQ and common sense level, especially with people in this town! I blame some of this with the roseburg school district and their quality of teachers. One thing I noticed in my Jr and Senior years of high school back in the early 2000s was that quite often with students that were failing or skipped a lot, the teachers were under pressure from the no child left behind act to pass them. The teachers would give them extra credit that often times had very little, if anything to do with the material that students who did attend class and learned. Those students would pass the class with a "D" which was good enough to graduate and walk out the door with not the same knowledge as others. These same students attended college with me, and it was clear they were several levels behind the other students despite some of them "graduating" in the same level class from me in high school. Often times they dropped out after one or two terms and these are the ones I tend to see frequently in trouble with the law or just living off welfare and never making anything out of themselves. Years later it doesn't sound any better. A younger female friend of mine that graduated about 5 years ago told me during her senior year that some teachers would let them surf the internet on their smart phones as "notes" during tests. I woulda been a straight A student no doubt if I was allowed to do that and the tech existed back than!

Fast forward to now. As some of you know I work at Costco which is a job that deals with interacting with people and the general public everyday. I am highly disturbed at what I see everyday from the people here. Someone will ask me where something is, I'll tell them its about 20 feet to where your left next to product A and product B on the top shelf. About 4 out of 5 people can't follow those directions because they don't know what 20 feet is, much less what a "foot" is in measurement. When I was in school I had to prove I knew basic things like measurement and common math in order to graduate. Guess the standards must not be as high now?

Someone will be standing in the freezer section and ask where the milk is, I'll tell them its on the other side in the refrigeration section. They look at me dumbfounded and go "I thought this was the fridge?" Just looking at the items in the freezer, one should probably be able to guess that those items are frozen? What stores around here sell things like milk, eggs, and cheese in the freezer section? I'll also see the opposite where they're walking around in the dairy section with the milk and seem amazed they can't find the ice cream in that same section. If ice cream was stored in the same fridge as the milk.....it was cease to be ICE cream anymore!

Don't even get me started on the toilet paper crisis. Well over half the people here tried to tell me, or "thought" the reason we didn't have any toilet paper was because they "stopped making it in China" when people there were getting sick and dying. Only problem is American toilet paper isn't made in China, even says so on the package if you take the time to look. Charmin products for instance are made in Idaho just over the state border!

I've known from years of experience that the IQ and mentality level isn't that high around here, but after this pandemic and the upcoming election, its opened my eyes up even more about how its worse than I previously thought!

NJ

I'd like to respond to paragraph 3. What you're describing is called "sequencing", the process of following step by step instruction to reach the desired goal. Many people on the autism spectrum can't sequence, it's just not there, it's never going to happen. And each one who can't sequence, will likely be the same one

who very well will also not be able to remember where their desired product is the next time they come in, the CRS factor. I heard one person lament, "It's like I have to tell him the same thing every day!" I smiled and said, yes, you do. Most people don't understand nor have patience for those with some form of autism. I find men to be particularly impatient with it more so than women or children. Is our DNA devolving, or evolving to where in another 3 generations everyone will have some form of autism? We'll just have to wait and see and try not to think about what the world will be like since we have no control over it. (here's where the paragraph would end if I knew how to do that on this platform) What could possibly be other explanations for what seems to be a dumbing down of all us regular folk. Lack of education opportunities that include more options to gain skills that provide family wage jobs? Lack of having the correct last name to be able to rise up in a community well adjusted to allowing only the chosen to succeed? Evolution? Neanderthal DNA? Will we ever get up the gumption to find out? I really do understand your frustration, I've been where you are, just 30 years previous. Hang in there, the frustration will calm itself with age.

melrosereader

Part of the problem with finding stuff, in spite of directions, is that people are overwhelmed with the volume of stuff. I don't know how many times I have been unable to find something in a grocery store, and asked an employee for assistance, only to discover that the desired item was right in front of me.

Doesn't mean I am unintelligent, it means I am distracted.

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