Humans Evolving at Warp Speed
New research contradicts theory that easier life slowed development
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 11, 2007 3:59 AM CST
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(Newser) – The pace of human evolution switched to the fast track when people began forming agrarian societies 10,000 years ago, researchers have discovered. Scientists had theorized that evolution would slow as challenges to survival waned, but the opposite appears to be the case with changes occurring surprisingly quickly, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Factors could include disease and population density. Deadly illnesses have swept through dense populations, wiping out large numbers of people, leaving those with beneficial adaptations (and better immunity) to spread their genes faster. Many African groups, for example, have evolved a genetic resistance to malaria.