Charles Darwin's theory on evolution still holds true despite lower mortality and fertility rates in the modern world, according to new research by the University of Sheffield. Scientists looked at how cultural influences like easy access to contraception and medical advances reducing infant mortality, effects natural selection in modern human populations. The study, carried out in Finland, observed that while only 67 per cent of children born in the 1860s survived to adulthood the figure rose to 94 per cent during the 1940s. At the same time, people went from having an average of five children to 1.6 children during their lifetime. But despite artificial influences the study found genetic differences between humans are what continue to fuel evolution. The study showed that the genetic influence on timing of reproduction and family size tended to actually be higher in recent times.
This means that modern human societies can still respond to selection, and genetic differences between us continue to fuel evolution.
Kemo D. 7