Is it true that accidental mutagenesis under the influence of chemistry, radiation, etc. factors are now much more intense? Is this an acceleration of evolution?

Is it true that accidental mutagenesis under the influence of chemistry, radiation, etc. factors are now much more intense? Is this an acceleration of evolution?

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answers (2)

Answer 1
June, 2021

If you expose an organism to a much higher level of chemical or radiation mutagenic factors than in the natural environment, the number of mutations increases accordingly, so that evolution really accelerates - it does not matter, natural or artificial. As far as I know, this approach has been adopted in crop production to accelerate the development of new varieties since about the second half of the twentieth century. However, with the invention of gene modification technologies that allow direct transfer of genes with known effects from other varieties and even species, the disadvantages of the approach from your question have become more noticeable: unpredictability of the result, a large number of worse or non-viable results, and so on.

Answer 2
June, 2021

If evolution is defined as a change in the gene pool within a species, then in the last 10,000 years, approximately, human evolution has really accelerated greatly. But not because we are surrounded by more chemistry or radiation, but because we have begun to die less. People who could not have left offspring before now survive and have children, so the variety of polymorphisms (different variants of a gene) and the number of genes in a genotype is steadily growing. And not only in the last, say, 100 years, but, in fact, from the very moment we acquired culture and, then, civilization. So the acceleration of evolution is obvious.

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