Does medicine stop human evolution by curing him of mutations that are different from some human "norm"?

Does medicine stop human evolution by curing him of mutations that are different from some human "norm"?

Why We Get Sad: How Evolution Makes Sense of Emotional Disorders.Professor Randolph Nesse, EPSIG

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answers (3)

Answer 1
January, 2021

Medicine has really weakened the "cleansing" selection, which allows culling individuals with slightly harmful mutations, but this effect is offset by the huge size of our population.
In the event that a population is small - say, 1000 individuals, the effect of a weakly harmful mutation in it, which reduces reproductive success by 0.01% compared to carriers of a non-mutant allele of the same gene, will be virtually invisible for selection. Because if, for example, there are only 500 mutants, then in the next generation there should be 500 - (0.01 * 500/100) = 499.95. The number of individuals cannot be fractional, so in fact we still have 500 (if we take a hundred such populations and see what happens, then we will get different integer numbers of mutants: 495, 501, 504, 499, but on average it will still come out 500). That is, this mutation in such a population will behave as neutral. Either it will be fixed, or it will be eliminated, 50:50.
But if the population is large, say, 7 billion individuals, then such a mutation will already be very noticeable for selection. Its frequency in each generation will decrease by 0.01%. If there were 3,000,000,000 mutants, then in the next generation they will decrease by about 300,000, this is a completely different scale. It can no longer be rounded. This example shows that in a huge population, even very weak selection is enough to effectively filter out weakly harmful mutations.
Well, we must remember that natural selection is not only the death of poor and sick individuals, sexual selection has not gone anywhere. A person's reproductive success is still highly dependent on his genotype, and this will continue to be so. Character, appearance, intelligence - all this is largely determined by genes, and their selection occurs constantly.

Read Alexander Markov's excellent article on Anropogenesis:

There are persistent rumors that humanity genetic degeneration threatens. Many journalists and philosophers repeat this. And I must admit that these rumors did not arise out of nowhere. Many scientists are seriously considering this possibility. It looks like we do have cause for concern.

Answer 2
January, 2021

Quite the opposite. Evolution is DNA copying errors. Their number when copied is a more or less constant value, according to which the antiquity of species is even established. Medicine, on the other hand, allows people with harmful mutations to survive, putting them on a par with the more adapted. It's just that there are certain practices that allow the body to remain phenotypically (in appearance) closer to the norm than is even embedded in the DNA (the so-called hidden evolution). So now, humanity is just more diverse than ever before. And this will either become noticeable when unfavorable conditions occur, or mankind will learn to artificially correct DNA, and then everything will depend on science and ethics.

Answer 3
January, 2021

The lifetime of medicine, especially of such a level that can cure mutations, is negligible compared to the rate of evolution. And if in Russian: there are simply no mutations that have appeared "outside the norm" over the past hundred years. And all the differences that were, for example, among long-isolated peoples are rapidly erased by globalization.

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