What will they look like in 2012, and AFTERWARDS? – What will the women of the future look like? If you believe fashion magazines, they’ll all be slim and boyish, but scientists think that tomorrow’s females are likely to be slightly shorter and plumper, have healthier hearts and be able to reproduce for a longer period of time. Researchers predict these changes based on new proof that humans are still evolving.
Recent medical advances mean that many people who once would have died young now live to old age. This has led to the theory that natural selection no longer affects humans (that we have stopped evolving).
In New Scientist, Bob Holmes quotes evolutionary biologist Stephen Stearns as saying, “That’s just plain false.” In a recent survey of a single town, he discovered that shorter, heavier women tended to have more children than taller, lighter ones. Women with lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels also had more children, and so did women who had their first child at a younger age or who entered menopause later. These traits were passed on to their daughters, who also had more children. If these trends continue for 10 generations, the average woman in 2409 will be shorter and heavier than she is today. She will have her first child about 5 months earlier and enter menopause 10 months later than women of today.
That doesn’t bode well for the population explosion! We may need outside help in order to survive.
Art credit: Dreamstime.com
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