7 October 2008: Is Human Evolution Over?

7 March 2008

Professor Steve Jones – UCL Biology 

Many people assume that the human race is in decline. The idea is an ancient one and gained new life with the work of Charles Darwin and his cousin Francis Galton, the founder of eugenics. Certainly, plenty of people are surviving who once did not, and others are having children when once they would have stayed celibate; and there are plenty of cases where medicine can treat those with damaged genes and can allow them to pass them on. This lecture will argue that in spite of this popular fear, everything we know about the process of evolution conspires to ensure that – at least in the developed world, and at least for the time being – human evolution has slowed down or stopped.


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