Tuesday, June 06, 2017

NatGeo magazine issue warns Trump on climate change, then describes artificial human evolution


The April 2017 issue of National Geographic has two very important items.

One if “7 Climate Facts You Need to Know Now”, especially in view of President Trump’s pulling out of the Paris accords.

NatGeo says that extreme weather events even now are related to climate change, and some animals are already going extinct.

But the feature article is “The Next Human” by D. T. Max, with illustrations by Owen Freeman. The article traces how life in the desert, high altitudes, and later colder climates all affected human evolution. Human behavior may have favored development of starch metabolism.  Environments seemed to encourage a “thrifty gene” which leads to obesity in some native populations when exposed to processed foods, but less so in European populations because of centuries of food preparation technology. Sometimes European men became taller and kept more body hair partly because women regarded them as more sexually attractive, but this did not happen in warmer climates.


 
There is a section called “Distant Future” regarding human manipulation of genetics, and particularly “Can Humans Adapt to the Red Planet?” On Mars, bodies would become tall and thin in lower gravity and hairless in an indoor controlled environment without dust.

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