Friday, December 21, 2007

Human evolution speeding up

Research shows that different human groups are becoming LESS alike -- and that it has been happening in relatively recent times

The world may feel more and more like a global village, but its residents are increasingly genetically diverse thanks to the rapidly accelerating pace of human evolution, a study said Monday. Geneticists say the huge explosion in our numbers in the past 40,000 years, since Homo sapiens migrated out of Africa to other continents, has resulted in a much faster pace of evolution compared to the previous six million years.

The pace of change has increased 100-fold in modern times compared to our distant past, and most notably since the Ice Age, 10,000 years ago, and has led to increasing diversification between the races. "We are more different genetically from people living 5,000 years ago than they were different from Neanderthals," said John Hawks, an anthropologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who collaborated on the study.

The findings are based on analysis of data from an international genomics project. A team of scientists examined DNA from 270 individuals in four ethnically different populations to see how genetic variations or SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) evolved over time. Contrary to conventional wisdom, which holds that human evolution has slowed to a crawl or even stopped in modern humans, the researchers' analysis suggested that the process of natural selection has sped up. "Rapid population growth has been coupled with vast changes in cultures and ecology, creating new opportunities for adaptation," the authors wrote in the paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "The past 10,000 years have seen rapid skeletal and dental evolution in human populations, as well as the appearance of many new genetic responses to diet and disease."

Human migrations into new European and Asian environments created selective pressures favoring less skin pigmentation (so more sunlight could be absorbed through the skin to make Vitamin D), adaptation to cold weather and dietary changes.

One example of a genetic adaptation to human culture involves the gene that makes the milk-digesting enzyme lactase. The gene normally stops activity about the time a person becomes a teenager, but northern Europeans developed a variation of the gene that allowed them to drink milk their whole lives -- a relatively new adaptation that is directly tied to the introduction of domestic farming and use of milk as an agricultural product.

"Human races are evolving away from each other," said Henry Harpending, an anthropology professor at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. "Genes are evolving fast in Europe, Asia and Africa, but almost all of these are unique to their continent of origin. We are getting less alike, not merging into a single, mixed humanity." He said that is happening because humans dispersed from Africa to other regions 40,000 years ago and "there has not been much flow of genes between the regions since then."




California hands a huge debt to its children: "The state of California is not funding a mountainous $48 billion tab for medical benefits promised to future government retirees, a bill that ranked as the second largest in the nation last year. The escalating liability, which accounting rules now require listing on the balance sheet, would hurt the state's debt rating and consequently raise the cost of borrowing if it goes unaddressed. Equally as important, since tax revenues are not expected to cover it, taxpayers will be forced to sacrifice services or sell bonds at ever-higher interest rates to accommodate the obligation. "That $48 billion is quite a lot. The substantial annual increases (to fund the benefits) the states are facing . is really stunning," said Katherine Barrett, co-author of a ground-breaking report, released Tuesday, from the nonprofit Pew Charitable Trusts' Center on the States."

S. Korean conservative's landslide win: "Conservative Lee Myung-bak, offering South Koreans a CEO-style presidency after a decade of Left-liberal occupation of the Blue House, scored a landslide victory in yesterday's presidential election. With 40 per cent of the vote counted last night, Mr Lee, representing the Grand National Party, had almost 47 per cent, while his main opponent Chung Dong-young, aligned with the current left-wing administration, had 28per cent. Exit polls had suggested Mr Lee, who turned 66 yesterday, could become the first winner to secure an endorsement of more than 50 per cent since direct presidential election was adopted 20 years ago. Mr Lee claimed victory in a nationally televised news conference, after Mr Chung, formerly unification minister under the outgoing President Roh Moo-hyun, conceded defeat. "Today, the people gave me absolute support," Mr Lee said. "I'm well aware of the people's wishes. I will serve the people in a very humble way. According to the people's wishes, I will save the nation's economy that faces a crisis." A spokesman for Mr Roh acknowledged the victory late last night and said the election had been fairly conducted."

Even They Can't Cover Up The Fraud: "How ragingly bad must the fraud be if even the United Nations can't hide it from an internal investigation? A UN group has determined that there is widespread, pervasive fraud in the UN's peacekeeping operations. The fraud they admit to runs into hundreds of millions of dollars (and heading north rapidly) and 10 UN procurement officials have been charged with offenses so far. And they are not even finished investigating yet."

Hamas Seeks Truce Talks With Israel: "Gaza's embattled Hamas leaders are seeking a cease-fire after months of Israeli attacks and sanctions, going so far as to make an unprecedented appeal through the Israeli media, a Hamas official confirmed Wednesday. The overture, which the Hamas leader made Tuesday through an Israeli reporter, followed an especially bloody day in which the Israeli air force killed 12 militants, including a top commander. Despite calls for a cease-fire within his Cabinet, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert pledged to continue targeting the leaders of militant groups who fire rockets into southern Israel almost daily."

Rich Pay More Taxes Since Bush Elected Contrary to Media Meme: "You know all that nonsense the media have been spewing that the Bush tax cuts caused the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer? Well, the Internal Revenue Service and the Congressional Budget Office have published tax and income numbers for 2005, and the press couldn't be any more wrong. In fact, it's almost as if the media get their data from Democrat presidential candidates, and disseminate it without the slightest effort whatsover to vet or verify its veracity.... part of the news is that the richest 1% paid about 39% of all income taxes that year. The richest 5% paid a tad less than 60%, and the richest 10% paid 70%. These tax shares are all up substantially since 1990, and even somewhat since 2000. Meanwhile, Americans with an income below the median -- half of all households -- paid a mere 3% of all income taxes in 2005."


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"Why should the German be interested in the liberation of the Jew, if the Jew is not interested in the liberation of the German?... We recognize in Judaism, therefore, a general anti-social element of the present time... In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.... Indeed, in North America, the practical domination of Judaism over the Christian world has achieved as its unambiguous and normal expression that the preaching of the Gospel itself and the Christian ministry have become articles of trade... Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist". Who said that? Hitler? No. It was Karl Marx. See also here and here and here.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party".


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