Evolution in Progress?

Humanity is wonderful. It’s naught short of amazing to see science in action. Humans are the only animal in the world to drink the milk of other animals. But in the last hundred years or so, what do we see? Calcium is available in many other places, and milk still has to be pasteurized and homogenized, etc. And as time goes on, what are we seeing? The rise of lactose intolerance, because we no longer need milk for vital nutritional vitamins and minerals.

So today, I found a wonderful tidbit on a woman who is “allergic” to electromagnetic radiation. If she is too close to microwaves, gamma rays, and other electric signals, she develops a rash. So she painted her house with a black carbon based paint and silver lined shades to block out the signals. She bought a plasma TV and has only wired phones. No microwave, no computer, no wireless connectivity. In the last few decades, we’ve bombarded the planet with all sorts of radiation, and there’s little doubt that eventually we’ll see some consequences of all the radio waves we’re just dumping into the atmosphere.

'Science.  It works, bitches' by XKCD

There are currently about 500 people labelled “electro-sensitive.” I would venture a guess that within 50 years, this will be much more common.

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2 Replies to “Evolution in Progress?”

  1. I think you’ve got the bit about the lactose intolerance wrong. Lactose tolerance is actually a genetic mutation that’s only present in a minority of the world population :
    My guess would be that we’re actually “breeding out” this mutation by intermarriage.

    Really cool article though.

  2. Whoa now. Lactose intolerance is an unfavorable genetic configuration which prevents people from taking advantage of the energy and nutritional content of milk beyond childhood. Because of its supreme utility in agricultural societies, the mutation to allow adults to digest lactose spread rapidly throughout Europe over the last 1000 years or so (not sure about other continents). Lactose intolerance isn’t a great disadvantage with so much food around, so I suspect that the selection pressure against it isn’t particularly strong anymore.

    And EM allergies have always struck me as nonsense. She’s allergic to the very long- and very short-wavelength photons of radio and gamma rays, respectively, but not the intermediate-wavelength visible radiation that we’re awash in? I can’t think of any mechanism with such a general response. But if it’s real, it certainly won’t be propagated through the human gene pool.

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