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    xendaddy's Avatar
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    Humans still evolving?

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    The NY Times has a great article about how the human genome continues to evolve.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/20/sc...=1&ref=science

    Do you think the human race will eventually evolve to effectively digest grains and other non-primal foods without the nasty after-effects?

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    Yes I do think that natural selection will reduce at least the extreme cases of grain intolerance over time, but it will take hundreds of generations and I don't think that it will be a perfect adaptation, unless we become some sort of hominid-bird hybrid (that-would-be-awesome!). There will be people who get diseases and die before they procreate, or perhaps have mental issues like OCD and schizophrenia and never get the chance to procreate, and extreme grain sensitivity will be selected against in the gene pool.

    I can't possibly see how lectins and saponins could be ameliorated but anything is possible given enough pain and suffering. These are mammal-killing substances, designed to maim and destroy so that a smarter animals would stay away. But not us, apparently.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stabby View Post
    Yes I do think that natural selection will reduce at least the extreme cases of grain intolerance over time, .
    I acually don't think it will. It's easy to be completely grain intolerant *and* to reproduce. As long as reproduction isn't affected, we'll continue to pass on our grain/gluten intolerant genes.

    And I know reproduction can be affected but with the new awareness of celiac and other grain related issues, it's easier to get an earlier diagnosis, fertility stays intact, genes are passed on successfully.



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    It's a possibility and makes you think about our population size and how we are going to feed such growing numbers. I think some will eventually evolve to be able to better handle grains but not everyone. The strongest will always survive so we Primals should be good to go.
    Last edited by AppalachianMatt; 07-20-2010 at 05:02 PM.
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    Stabby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cillakat View Post
    I acually don't think it will. It's easy to be completely grain intolerant *and* to reproduce. As long as reproduction isn't affected, we'll continue to pass on our grain/gluten intolerant genes.

    And I know reproduction can be affected but with the new awareness of celiac and other grain related issues, it's easier to get an earlier diagnosis, fertility stays intact, genes are passed on successfully.
    Actually that's true, it's a very low-ish grade of damage and makes life shorter and worse but most people can eat junky wheat every day and still live at least long enough to reproduce. Maybe in the tens or hundreds of thousands of generations it would happen but I'm not sure if humans will be around that long. At least for celiac and gluten "sensitivity".
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    Except there is evidence there has already been adaptation - people or European ancestry are less likely to get diabetes and obesity from a modern diet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bisous View Post
    Except there is evidence there has already been adaptation - people or European ancestry are less likely to get diabetes and obesity from a modern diet.
    This is what I believe. Some of us are able to handle grains easier than others. I was not one of them as I had terrible experiences which brought me here (Thanks God!). But, the groups of people who eat a lot of grains products on a daily basis and live a long time seem to be more adapted. Maybe? Just my thought.
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    There is adaptation, but so long as something doesn't impair ability to reproduce too potently there won't be much of an adaptation, so if it is a sliding scale of adaptability and not a yes/no allele then, like cillakat said, it will never be completely innocuous because people can abuse the hell out of their bodies, reproduce in early life and then wither and die slowly. Humans are resilient creatures. There are different degrees of sensitivity and celiac, but gluten harms everyone regardless. These "healthy" grain eating groups are mostly eating white rice (better than brown rice) or using long soaking and fermenting technique. And that just happens to be healthier than potato chips and fried chicken.
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    lactose intolerance in Europeans closely correlates with type I diabetes, suggesting a selective mechanism at work.

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    Yes, as has been said, there is no selection pressure promoting grain tolerance, as it has no effect on reproductive potential. So no, we won't evolve towards grain tolerance.

    Unfortunately, barring some unforeseen catastrophic selection pressure, we're pretty much done evolving towards any specific goal (like improved grain tolerance) since now in modern society most everyone outlives their reproductive period. Population genetics may continue to shift over time (random mutation, genetic drift, etc.), but we're pretty much done evolving by natural selection. Actually, it's possible that our species will become less rational beings with worse judgment, as the genes of those who continue to reproduce in great numbers in spite of scarce resources (i.e. poor decision making) will make an increasingly greater proportion of our species' genome. To the extent that this type of behavior and decision making process is genetically influenced, these types of behaviors will be selected for. So yeah, this may be the pinnacle for us hominids

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    Last edited by jturk; 07-21-2010 at 08:08 AM.

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