human evolution: recent, rapid, local, and ongoing

thought i’d start off the new year on the right foot and offer up a reminder that human evolution can be recent, rapid, and local, and is definitely ongoing.

that is not to say that no human traits were laid down eons ago, or that there aren’t traits held in common by all humans — there’re plenty of both. just keep in mind that for many behavioral traits, we don’t need to look back to our glorious hunter-gatherer days for their origins. in fact, that’s probably the wrong approach entirely.

and remember: “every society selects for something.” that means that not only do natural environments exert selective pressures on individuals, so do social environments. the structures found within societies are probably important, too (including family types, me thinks).