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The Human Edge - Essay Example

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One of the characteristics is the ability of the human to change the environment. This occurs as a human endeavor in changing the environment to make it…
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The Human Edge Un-Natural Selection: Human Evolutions Next Steps There are a number of human characteristics featured in the story “Un-Natural Selection: Human Evolutions Next Steps”. One of the characteristics is the ability of the human to change the environment. This occurs as a human endeavor in changing the environment to make it easy for living. This is happening at an unprecedented rate as compared to genetic evolution. This happens as human creates own environment such as improved diet (Palca 1). The other human characteristic is maintenance of harmful mutations in the environment. These include the sickle cell anemia and gene mutation that causes phenylketonuria (PUK) (Palca 1). This is done by reducing the effects of the bad mutation on human species. For example, there is a treatment of PKU with a diet with low levels of phenylalanine (Palca 1). This means such individuals can reproduce and thus pass the defective genes to the subsequent generation. This makes it difficult to eliminate defective genes in the population. On the other hand, human beings have made advances in science that helps in overcoming disadvantageous mutations. For example, the problem of poor eyesight has been resolved by wearing eyeglasses, and contact lenses (Palca 1). This helps in overcoming problems faced by the ancestors. Consequently, man has managed to defy nature as he can routinely repair, remove or even insert genes on people.
The characteristics have given the “Human Edge” in different ways. First, the ability of the human to modify the conditions provided a favorable way to have the “Human Edge”. This is because as the environment became unfavorable, human managed to change it to make it favorable for survival. This gave human an advantage as compared to other species and hence managed to survive and reproduce. On the other hand, other species were exterminated due to poor environment. This means they failed to produce and have subsequent generations. Second, the ability to maintain harmful mutations helped in reproducing without elimination of the species. This is because if defective genes are not regulated, they lead to eradication of species. However, human has managed to overcome this through the development of science. He can establish a specific gene that pose a risk to survival and adopts ways of minimizing risks. Therefore, human can survive even in the presence of a defective gene in the population. The other thing that gives human a competitive advantage is the ability to overcome deleterious mutation. This is because unhealthy mutation makes one not competitive in population. Human has been able to overcome this through scientific advancement. This means an individual with the defective gene is as equal to a normal person.
There is a close relation of the story and Darwin’s ideas of natural selection and the modern concept of evolution as a change in allele frequencies. The story relates to Darwin’s ideas of natural selection as it shows that human has been able to produce variation in various generation. These variations have conferred competitive advantage to human as compared to other species. Consequently, these characteristics have increased human chances for survival. This means human have more opportunities to reproduce, and this benefits their children’s through transfer of heritable and superior traits. On the other hand, it relates to the modern view of evolution as change in allele frequencies. This has occurred, as the human has been able to increase the frequencies of advantageous allele in the environment. The characteristics are also passed to the offspring’s.
Works Cited
Palca, Joe. “Un-Natural Selection: Human Evolutions Next Steps.” Npr.org. Web. 24 November 2013. < http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129638953>. Read More
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