Fuseki.net

The 10,000 Year Explosion by Greg Cochran

A book about recent human evolution by Greg Cochran, snarky GNXP commenter & physicist.

topics include possible recent evolution deal with a changing environment: malaria, a new diet based on farming, unique job constraints (ashkenazim), lactose tolerance.

It is mostly really about changes in gene frequency rather than the appearance of new beneficial mutations, although that is covered too. One interesting point is that because of the great increase in human population, the number of existing variants of every gene has increased - and therefore, the number of beneficial mutations which are out there floating around. It's obvious but not something one would think of when seeing those charts saying "25% of the modern humans who have ever lived are alive at this moment" - that also means that a lot of new beneficial mutations have just come into existence with those people and may be spreading.

I would like to see some information on what type of selection is actually taking place in the modern world - things like % of males who successfully reproduce vary greatly throughout the world, and have got to have a big effect on rates of evolution!

Related Articles: