Nick Wade surveys the theory that humans are evolving now, contrary to the conventional assertion that culture, not biology, is driving the transformation of our species….
Here something that I am surprised that Wade included in the article:
Not everything is roses in evolution’s garden. Ronald Fisher, the British biologist, pointed out in 1930 that the genes for mental ability tend to move upward through the social classes but that fertility is higher in the lower social classes. He concluded that selection constantly opposes genes that favor creativity and intelligence.Fisher’s idea has not been proven wrong in theory, although many biologists, besides detesting it for the support it gave to eugenic policies, believe it has proven false in practice. “It hasn’t been formally refuted in the sense that we could never test it,” Dr. Pagel said. Though people with fewer resources tend to have more children, that may be for lack of education, not intelligence. “Education is the best contraceptive. If you brought these people up in the middle class they would have fewer children,” Dr. Pagel said. “Fisher’s empirical observation is correct, that the lower orders have more babies, but that doesn’t mean their genotypes are inferior.”
Does anyone really buy this? Yes, the Flynn Effect is undeniable, but assuming the premises, that intelligence is heritable to some extent, that socioeconomic status (SES) has some relationship to innate intellectual capacities and low SES status has a positive correlation with fecundity-it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to connect the dots. Oh, and by the way, I have heard several liberal friends who are in graduate studies in the biological sciences who express concern with the the dysgenic trends of our species, so it isn’t only people “on the street” that wonder about this, when you get biologists off the record I suspect you hear a different tune…. (The collected papers of eminent evolutionary biologist W.D. Hamilton for instance is a case in point-there is quite a bit of embarrassing material for potentional pangyrists & friends)