I've been thinking about this for a while now, but can't come up with a satisfactory answer... (Please correct me if I make any faulty statements
So the human body is still evolving, right? We know the human brain is doing the evolution thing...
Article on the brain's modern evolution
At the molecular level, life’s ability to reproduce begins with the replication of DNA, during which two new spirals are created that are exact
replicas of the original molecule. Sometimes a change in the sequence of nucleotide bases occurs in the DNA polymer. This is called a mutation.
Mutations can occur randomly, from radiation damage (impact with high energy g-rays or cosmic rays), from exposure to chemical agents called mutagens,
or simply by error in the DNA replication process.
When a mutation occurs in part of the DNA where information for a protein is encoded, it can cause the wrong amino acid to be inserted into the
protein being constructed. This result may be harmful (the new protein may perform its function poorly resulting in a reduced probability of survival
for the organism involved), helpful (it might also do its intended job better) or merely neutral (no effect at all). Beneficial mutations can lead to
fitter organisms that pass on their advantages - higher resistance to disease and cold, better survival instincts etc.. - to successive generations.
As a result, organisms carrying these favourable mutations will come to predominate in the population and this is the process Darwin called natural
selection (often referred to now as 'survival of the fittest'). Differential reproduction - whether reproduction proceeds with lesser or greater
success - is central to the process of natural selection; it determines whether a given mutation becomes established in the general population. Thus
natural selection, together with successful differential reproduction, causes the characteristics of a species gradually to change when adaptive (i.e.
beneficial) mutations sweep through the population. In this way, differential reproduction allows one species to gradually evolve into a new species.
This is the process of evolution.
According to the evolution and natural selection models, "adaptations" or evolving according to the surroundings can be referred to as "mutation".
There is a genetic "defect" which is passed on from one generation to the next, and in the end with this "defect" the next generation is better of
than other members of the same species that doesn't have the defect, because its chances of survival are now better.
Thus: A genetic mutation can
make a species better evolved to survive.
Now, the other day someone suggested that humans might evolve to be able to use (computer) keyboards better. We can elaborate and say that our
dominant hands may evolve in a form to handle a PC mouse better. I'm sure we can paint many scenarios.
But when we look from the medical side of this, we see that it doesn't work that way. Deformed babies are born every day. The parents are shocked and
doctors do everything they possibly can to correct the mutations/deformities for the baby to be "normal" (compared to other humans). An extra
finger/toe is amputated. Corrective glasses for "eye-problems". Deformed limbs are operated on. Hormone supplements if a child doesn't grow as
he/she is supposed to. It's an endless list.
But medical science and concerned parents don't see the "big picture". What they see as a deformed child, may be the next step in evolution... I'm
not saying that we should leave babies with "mutations" as they are born.
That's my point. Medical science doesn’t allow the human body to evolve. Above we saw that the human brain is evolving. This cannot be corrected by
medicine, if it was seen as a "defect". We also know that (some) humans evolved to be able to drink milk. This can also not be "stopped" by
medicine, as it isn't "abnormal".
Thus my question. Are we stopping the human race from evolving further with our modern medicine?