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The Continuous Evolving Process of Humanity

Evolution is often used synonymously with “the survival of the fittest” or “natural selection.” However, these concepts are not the same thing and have severe differences. Evolution means the gradual change in a population over time. Natural selection is one of the mechanisms of the evolution process. With the development of civilization, natural selection as a mechanism of evolution has started to lose its significance. People no longer need to hide from predators and hunt for survival. It can create the false impression that humanity no longer demands a sufficient evolutionary mechanism to adapt to the challenging environment (Hendry et al., 2017). However, natural selection proceeds to impact evolution and humanity’s adaptive features.

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The simplest example is the human ability to digest milk. The gene that regulates the assimilation of lactose by humans has developed in evolution. Initially, a person could only consume human milk in infancy. However, the domestication of cows, goats, and sheep and the development of animal farming made bodies increase the production of a gene that promotes the breakdown of lactose. People with this gene had a greater chance of surviving and passing on this mechanism to the next generation. A recent study confirmed that the gene is still developing as it was 3000 years ago in East Africa. A genetic mutation that promotes the absorption of lactose is now in 95% of Europeans (Are humans still evolving?).

In 2007, a team of scientists from Royal Holloway College conducted research aimed at identifying the latest signs of evolution. They studied about 1,800 genes that have appeared in humans over the past 40,000 years. The overwhelming majority of these genes are correlated with a person’s capacity to resist infectious diseases. There are about 12 new genes classified among the inhabitants of Africa which help the body effectively deal with malaria. Residents of large cities have genes that enable them to compete against tuberculosis and leprosy. Thus, the place of residence still considerably affects the formation of immunity (Are humans still evolving?).

It is difficult to observe evolutionary changes due to the extensive generation length. However, studies show that the evolutionary mechanism is still working. External body characteristics may not be as noticeable, but the internal patterns of the body continue to adjust to the specifies of the environment and habitat. The survival of mankind is directly influenced by the constant evolutionary process following the surrounding social and environmental progress.


Hendry, A. P., Gotanda, K., M. & Svensson, E. I. (2017). Human influences on evolution, and the ecological and societal consequences. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. Web.

Are humans still evolving? (2021). Yourgenome. Web.

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