Ode to Darwin:

Men getting more attractive

     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 humans.”


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