London: Men are
evolving to more attractive, proving that English
naturalist Charles Darwin’s “survival of the fittest”
theory still holds true for humans in the modern age,
says a new study.
Researchers have found that human customs, such as
marriage, have not slowed the drive of natural selection
– and men are evolving traits to increase their mating
success, which could include factors like good looks or
intelligence which might help them achieve success.
This is because mating with more partners increases
the chance of reproductive success for a man, whereas it
doesn’t for a woman, the Daily Mail reported.
A popular misconception is that humans stopped
evolving when they took up farming and embraced
monogamy. But evidence from detailed church records of
almost 6,000 people born in Finland between 1760 and
1849 suggests this is not so.
The researchers looked at economic status, births,
deaths and marriages to examine four key natural
selection factors — survival to adulthood, mate access,
mating success and fertility.
They found that the Finns’ natural selection
opportunities were on a par with those seen in the wild.
Virpi Lummaa, from the University of Sheffield’s
department of animal and plant sciences, who led the
study, said, “We have shown advances have not challenged
the fact that our species is still evolving, just like
all the other species ‘in the wild’.
“It is a common misunderstanding that evolution took
place a long time ago, and that to understand ourselves
we must look back to the hunter-gatherer days of