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Published: Oct 10, 2008
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The Shocking End of Human Evolution: It's Over Claims Steve Jones
by Staff

British geneticist Steve Jones says human evolution appears to have come to an end, mainly because fewer

older men are fathering children.

Jones, a professor at University College London, said a change in reproductive patterns has causes a drop in the human mutation rate.

"For a 29-year-old father (the mean age of reproduction in the West) there are around 300 divisions between the sperm that made him and the one he passes on -- each one with an opportunity to make

mistakes," he told The Times of London. "For a 50-year-old father, the figure is well over a thousand. A drop in the number of older fathers will thus have a major effect on the rate of mutation."

The weakening of natural selection also plays a role. "In ancient times half our children would have died by the age of 20. Now, in the Western world, 98 percent of them are surviving to 21," he said. Jones said the third component to evolution -- random change-- is disappearing because of the increasing connectedness of the world. (c) UPI

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