what is normal? not Milk! Evidence of Evolution in Modern Humans

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what is normal? not Milk! Evidence of Evolution in Modern Humans

Post by veya_victaous on Wed Mar 19, 2014 1:36 pm

Zac Eckstein wrote:Something that Europeans and their descendants do that you might not realise seems downright bizarre to the rest of the world is that we like to drink cool glasses of that white stuff that comes out from under a cow. That's because most of the non-white population of the world -- 50 percent of Mediterraneans, 95 percent of Asians, and close to 100 percent of Native Americans -- are lactose intolerant. On the other hand, 90 percent of Europeans can drink milk just fine. So why whitey? Simply, early Europeans spent more time around cows.

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=8439522

Humans, like every other mammal, were never designed to drink milk past infancy. Normal people (and considering the global statistics, it's the lactose intolerant who are the normal people) lose the ability to digest milk at around 5 years old. That's when we stop producing the enzyme lactase, which breaks down the milk sugars known as lactose. Without that, the lactose in milk just goes straight to our colon and reinvents itself as the Hershey squirts.

But after white Europeans and cultures around the Middle East domesticated cattle around 7,500 years ago, they started dabbling in drinking their milk. Those few who were able to tolerate it had an evolutionary advantage, having access to an abundant new source of protein and vitamin D. Since those who drank their milk grew big and strong, the ability to digest it spread around cattle farming communities until most people who spent a lot of time around cows grew to enjoy it without running to whatever passed for a bathroom back then.

For the rest of the world who preferred to obtain their nutrition in ways that didn't involve sucking on a cow's tits, their lactose intolerance remained just as it was. So if you've enjoyed some cheese recently, you know who to thank.



Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_20929_5-insane-ways-animals-changed-course-humanity_p2.html#ixzz2wN8PmFHI



http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/news/070401_lactose

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Re: what is normal? not Milk! Evidence of Evolution in Modern Humans

Post by veya_victaous on Wed Mar 19, 2014 1:38 pm

Where's the evolution?
Mutations that keep the lactase gene permanently switched on are common among modern Europeans — but not among their ancestors. In March 2007, a team of German and British researchers announced that they went looking for that mutation in the 7000-year-old fossils of ancient Europeans and came up empty-handed. The researchers managed to extract the length of DNA corresponding to the lactose tolerance mutation from eight Neolithic human fossils and one Mesolithic fossil, but those DNA sequences did not carry the tell tale mutation. The results suggest that as late as 5000 BC most ancient Europeans could not have digested milk as adults — and that they only later evolved into milk-drinking societies.


You wanted an example of Mutation GIG  Cool 

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Re: what is normal? not Milk! Evidence of Evolution in Modern Humans

Post by Ben Reilly on Wed Mar 19, 2014 4:21 pm

Amazing! Think of the lives that have been prolonged by the ability digest cow's milk and the availability of it. Truly an evolutionary benefit; I imagine those who were unable to digest it were left at a disadvantage to those who were.

Very much like Lenski's experiment, when you think about it -- the evolution of the ability to survive on something that was not a viable source of food before.

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Re: what is normal? not Milk! Evidence of Evolution in Modern Humans

Post by Original Quill on Wed Mar 19, 2014 4:31 pm

It is amazing. A fact I didn't expect. I knew a lactose intolerant woman, but she was Irish.

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Re: what is normal? not Milk! Evidence of Evolution in Modern Humans

Post by Guest on Thu Mar 20, 2014 12:38 am

Ben_Reilly wrote:Amazing! Think of the lives that have been prolonged by the ability digest cow's milk and the availability of it. Truly an evolutionary benefit; I imagine those who were unable to digest it were left at a disadvantage to those who were.

Very much like Lenski's experiment, when you think about it -- the evolution of the ability to survive on something that was not a viable source of food before.

almost verification of Lenski isnt it...
imagine the advantage that would have given those who gained this ability.....

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