In human evolution research today, the search for quick, simple fixes dominates
|October 11, 2011||Posted by News under Intelligent Design, Human evolution, News|
In “Genetic mutation may have led to rise of humans” (MSNBC, October 10, 2011) Stephanie Pappas tells us:
Type of tweaked sugar molecule was possibly linked to malarial resistance.
With the slow failure of the grand narrative of the ascent of man, people always seem to be looking for quick simple fixes:
Gagneux and his colleagues tested the idea by exposing chimpanzee sperm, with its Neu5Gc-bearing cells, to human antibodies for the molecule. Sure enough, the antibodies killed the chimp sperm. Female mice engineered to have an immune response to Neu5Gc likewise produced fewer offspring when mated with Neu5Gc-positive males.
In other words, a tiny change in one little molecule could have helped drive populations to diverge from one another, as only Neu5Ac-positive ancestors could mate with other Neu5Ac-positive ancestors, and those human ancestors without the mutation were unable to produce as many offspring.
Maybe the researchers’ scenario happened. What’s not clear is how you get modern humanity out of this. All you get is a restricted breeding population of animals.
See also: Henry Gee in Nature: “We know that, as a depiction of evolution, this [ascent of man] line-up is tosh. Yet we cling to it.”