Darwin’s theory upended? Natural selection may be making society more unequal

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NORWICH, United Kingdom — Charles Darwin’s natural selection theory is being put to the test. Darwin’s theory expounded that organisms which can better adapt to their environment are more likely to survive and produce more offspring. However, a new study by British researchers reveals natural selection may be making society more unequal.

Researchers from the University of East Anglia find that natural selection is favoring poorer people with little education. The study “shows how natural selection effects are stronger in groups with lower income and less education, among younger parents, people not living with a partner, and people with more lifetime sexual partners.”

On the flip side, natural selection “is pushing against genes” associated with highly educated individuals, people who have more lifetime earnings, those who have a low risk of ADHD or major depressive disorders, and those with a lower risk of coronary artery disease.

“Darwin’s theory of evolution stated that all species develop through the natural selection of small, inherited variations that increase the individual’s ability to compete, survive, and reproduce,” says lead researcher David Hugh-Jones, a professor from UEA’s School of Economics, in a university release. “We wanted to find out more about which characteristics are selected for and against in contemporary humans, living in the UK.”

‘Polygenic scores’ prove Darwin’s natural selection theory no longer valid?

Researchers analyzed the polygenic scores of more than 300,000 people in the United Kingdom, taken from the UK Biobank, which is a long-term project investigating the contributions of genetic predisposition and environmental exposure to the development of disease. The polygenic scores estimate a person’s genetic liability, a prediction of their health, education, lifestyle, or personality.

Researchers then used data on two generations of people living in the U.K. by looking at their number of siblings and number of children.

“We found that 23 out of 33 polygenic scores were significantly linked to a person having more or fewer children over their lifetime,” explains Hugh-Jones. “Scores which correlated with lower earnings and education predicted having more children, meaning those scores are being selected for from an evolutionary perspective.”

Meanwhile, researchers say scores correlating to those with higher earnings and better education predicted having fewer children, “meaning that they are being selected against.”

“Natural selection could be making society more unequal, by increasing the correlation between income and polygenic scores, including scores that predict health and education outcomes,” the study author continues.

Using the economic theory of fertility, researchers say those with higher earnings can afford more children. However, since it is costly to spend time on childcare instead of their job, they will miss out on higher wages.

“The first effect leads people to have more children, the second effect leads them to have fewer,” Hugh-Jones concludes.

The study is published in the journal Behavior Genetics.

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  1. Quantum fluctuations, locked in by the normal repair function in every cell, drive evolution.

  2. Somebody doesn’t understand evolution. Evolution doesn’t make a species better, it helps it adapt. That only requires getting to the age of procreation, and if gaming the system makes more babies, that will win out naturally in the long run over those that are smarter. And having fewer babies.

    Nothing in the theory predicts outcomes, only explains why outcomes are reached. And it explains today’s society perfectly in my opinion.

  3. Dumb researchers…kids cost money. Of course those with more kids are poorer. There’s my theory…economic well-being is inversely correlated to the number of offspring.

  4. Since when are education levels and income levels genetic? This has nothing to do with Darwin at all! Who paid for this “research”?

    1. Thank you… ‘Social Darwinism’ is a term associated with Eugenics and the Nazis. If a Rightie had written this, the usual suspects would be screaming for the head of the piece. But when a Leftie Gen Snowflake gets paid by the word for drivel like this, they get a pass for pushing one of the most offensive ‘theories’ ever put forth. Darwin would be appalled. Hey Lefties, you realize that Social Darwinism (which is all this boils down to) was used to justify slavery and colonization, right? Pathetic. I mean, I had to read it twice because I couldn’t believe it would pass editorial muster the first time. WTF are they teaching these kids? My God!

  5. Doesn’t matter. 7 billion people on the planet. Hundreds, if not thousands, of virologists planning and working hard to kill most of us. More than enough smart people passing on their genes.

  6. JB’s top comment is incorrectly assuming that the lower classes are CHOOSING to have all these kids; that the women are looking at the abundance of welfare and consciously deciding that they will get pregnant repeatedly and bear children. This is laughably naive.

    The lower classes have so many kids because they don’t practice family planning, they don’t take precautions during sex, and when they do get pregnant a combination of ignorance, religion, and financial poverty leads them to keep the child rather than abort it. Then a year or so later, the cycle repeats, and repeats again, and again.

    This is why the ignorant and the irresponsible are having so many children. The intelligent realize that it’s a shit world to bring up a kid in, so they take precautions to prevent procreation (by various means).

    As has been said by others: it’s ‘Idiocracy’, not welfare queens.

  7. Before civilization, humans relied on natural selection to increase population. Civilization is dependent on laws to improve outcomes. The article focuses on outcomes such as wealth and education which will only improve if politics and laws improve. Civilization separates us from the natural world.

    1. “Before civilization, humans relied on natural selection to increase population.”

      Absolute nonsense.

  8. This is the worst article I’ve ever read. I never comment on things but this is so bad, had to share.

  9. Natural selection and equality of outcome are diametrically opposing concepts. Evolution could not occur if all organisms were subject to equality of outcome.

    1. This article is intellectually dishonest, and seeks to drive a narrative about equity. There is no logical association behind the idea that poor people reproduce more, therefore, natural selection is promoting those genes. What matters is the genes being promoted across humanity as a whole. Poor folks tend to have poorer health, shorter lives, and don’t tend to make societal changing impacts on humanity. Rich, educated folks, on the other hand, tend to have better health, live longer, and do, in fact, drive major societal changes that promote humanity. Focusing on the birth rate and associated socioeconomic class of those with highest birth rate proves nothing more than the idiocy of the writers axe to grind with the leftist stupidity about equity

      1. “There is no logical association behind the idea that poor people reproduce more, therefore, natural selection is promoting those genes”

        Your statement is wrong by the definition of evolution.

        Those who are superior at reproduction are the ones favored by evolution.

  10. “Evolution does not necessarily reward intelligence. With no natural predators to thin the herd, it began to simply reward those who reproduced the most, and left the intelligent to become an endangered species.” You should watch “Idiocracy” movie, it seems to have more common sense than this research.

  11. Don’t believe anything you hear from University of E. Anglia. Their fingerprints are all over the global warming hoax.

    1. you mean the global warming hoax that is currently melting the polar ice caps, and causing the south western U.S. to revert back to Sahara like desert conditions?

      Fortunately denialist fools like you will soon be extinct.

  12. It proves Darwin’s theory, a species evolves via attrition or by uninhibited growth. Dumb people breed like rabbits, thus there is more stupid people. More stupid people make even more stupid people, thus diluting intelligence in the gene pool. The movie Idiocracy had it right.

    1. There have always been stupid people. You know like the inferiors who founded America.

      But their numbers -globally- don’t appear to be increasing. Although the number of Low IQ Americans is now at unprecedented levels.

      American stupidity is willful stupidity, it is stupidity that results from intellectual laziness and sloth.

      The Failure that is America is a result of American Cultural failure not genetics even though America was settled by intellectual inferiors.

  13. In the US very successfull people pay 50% in taxes while the bottom half pays 0%. If you want natural selection to apply the rules have to be the same for all, the top subsidizing the bottom is anything but natural. Applications for colleges/jobs are now based more on race/sex/age than merit.

    If the NFL/NBA implemented the same equal opportunity programs so they weren’t 90% black males, do we think the skill level would go up or down? Do we think it would have a net positive effect for ANY of the sports/players/fans in the long run?

    1. Liar.. Liar.. Pants on fire…

      The poor may pay no federal tax, but they do pay local and state taxes, and consumption taxes, and taxes in the form of licenses etc.

      So why do you feel a need to lie about it?

    1. And yet Evolution is the bedrock of all biology.

      What does that say about your willful scientific illiteracy?

  14. So the scientists just went and watched “Idiocracy”, and went after low hanging fruit to get a grant. Cool.

  15. It’s interesting how, natural selection leads to chosen selection, leads to Preferred selection, leads to Preferred race, which leads to a master race. Only Nazis believe that they have the right to say who should be born and who should not. Avowed racist and KKK sympathizer Margaret Sanger wanted to get rid of all of the undesirables in the world, she called it the Negro Project. It morphed into Planned Parenthood. I think I would rather let nature take care of itself, than have Royal inbreeding, and end up with a bunch of freaks who look and act like Prince Charles of England.

      1. Yes, because facts don’t matter to democrats. lmao… maybe you can get your GED someday, Vendick. Your projection is complete.

  16. Fitness is about who passes on more genes in the long run. That’s all. Natural selection assumes that varieties better adapted to their environment will win out in the long run, but there are other forms of selection as well (sexual selection, kin selection, etc). Moreover humans have largely removed themselves from the driving force of adaptation to their environment as we have learned to adapt our environment to our needs, and transmission of knowledge and culture has more impact on “success” than our genes do. Darwin is still secure, and this is just drivel.

  17. What an awful click-bait title. Absolutely nothing in this study “upends Darwin’s theory”. The only thing this study shows is that natural selection is still occurring, but modern society is interfering with it’s results. Anyone with a High School diploma could figure that out for themselves.

    1. It would appear that most American Republicans posting here don’t have a high school diploma.

      1. Oh? Please elaborate on your claim.
        Love to know your thoughts on how you came to this conclusion.

    2. The better races theory of Darwin is exactly what pushed Hitler. Darwin and anyone that believes his lies are just racists.

  18. Natural selection does not work when society guarantees the survival of every single moron.

    For natural selection work, we need adversity – like famine and wars – roving gangs fighting for survival. Only then can one see how the strong and smart survive and pass on their genes.

  19. I think a big bit of information that is missing here is the context of what Darwin was studying and how Human society operates. In almost (if not all) every other species, the weak die off, strengthening the gene pool. Humans tend to keep those that would not survive their environment alive because we have a conscience and compassion. In essence, because we care about others, we have weakened our own gene pool. You really cannot say Darwin was wrong when humans are the anomaly to the theory.

  20. Natural selection is a driving force… this can be explained as a refinement of centralized flaws and waste in a relative perfection for the entire sphere. The planet is going thru a nature collapse due to an overpopulation of consumers… consuming far beyond planetary capacity. This is evident by pulling up a world population graph and comparing the exponential upward curve to those of global warming, mass unnatural extinction, ecosystem collapse, pollution and over fishing of oceans, desertification of once fertile land, the destruction of vital rainforests to create more agriculture, etc. The financial elite will never admit to overpopulation, lest a reduction in consumers to drive their greed economies. The poorer humans on this planet, typically folks of color, are lacking education, proper upbringing, finances, career opportunities, etc. which allows excessive offspring and reproduction, often creating hardship for the very households. This increasing reproduction rates do not display a natural selection but rather an imbalance in nature that will eventually be eliminated to bring equilibrium to the entire system. Essentially the poor of this planet, the uneducated, the poorly developed will be the ones driving the lion share of the suffering and loss as nature finally capitulates to man’s excesses and fights back….

  21. What an awesome misreading of a theory. Sorry, evolution doesn’t have a socioeconomic stance on who should prevail. And great job missing the role of sexual selection in Darwins theory.

    IQ follows the Pareto Distribution and evolution has very little to do with that.

  22. The DNA molecule demonstrates intelligent design. The chances that it developed by bind evolutionary accident is statistically impossible.

  23. People should always remember that The Theory of Evolution is just that, a theory. Otherwise it would be called The Law of Evolution. Evolution has never been proven, so at least teach it, if you must, as it is, a theory and not truth.

    1. Yup, just like the theory of gravity.

      David isn’t aware enough of the world around him to recognize that the various versions of COVID that have developed is self evident evidence of evolution.

      He lives his life oblivious of the world around him.

  24. Bingo! If you agree with Darwin’s metaphysical nonsense, you will have no basis for any perceived violation of justice, etc. Detest Nazi Germany? Too bad — it is defensible on Darwinian terms. The same can be said for racial injustice, slavery, etc., — all defensible based on atheistic Darwinian metaphysical scientism…

  25. Capitalism, consumerism, and the resulting destruction of the natural order based on the economic theory of the expansion of capital has upended the natural order. It has lead to gross pollution, human induced global warming, and a new era of mass extinctions. Over consumption of natural resources, factory farming, and income inequality and the effect of chemical and plastic pollution on the natural environment were not factors when Darwin made his theory of natural selection. The natural order is out of balance. Darwin’s theory is correct. This essay is poppy cock, failing to look into the mirror of the disaster of over consumption and greed. All a result of a fossil fuel economy structured on an economic theory of endless expansion.

  26. So cute! And he had to use the “…economic theory of fertility” to ‘splain it all. Bless his heart. I am assuming he is applying emotive reasoning….then it makes so much more sense.

  27. I am not sure social Darwinism is a real thing, and if it is, how does it equate to Natural selection and survival of the fittest on a purely biological level. Most scholars I know have come to the conclusion that natural selection is barely at play in human populations thanks to technology and resource availability.

  28. This paper was clearly not peer-reviewed. The authors have gotten the adaptation of Genetic Natural Selection to Social Hierarchy wrong.

    It is not about the number of children you produce, it is how successful the surviving children become in their life. It can be seen as the smarter higher standing people do not need to have as many offspring because each of their children have higher odds of surviving, being successful and passing on their genes. (Look at this data and determine relative risk among the groups before drawing conclusions. Bad post-hoc science evaluation).

    This concept is seen throughout nature, animals species that have to pass on intelligence vs simple physical characteristics to survive and prosper will always have fewer offspring in their lifetime then the one that just depend on simple attributes such as running faster or fighting better.

    Darwin didn’t get it wrong. Society pressures and reward are at fault.

  29. Mike Judge predicted this when he wrote “Idiocracy”. His premise was that less educated people are more likely to breed while educated people choose to keep their wealth and not have bigger families. And 500 years from now, the world would be entirely populated by idiots. But it didn’t take 500 years. It only took 50.

  30. RE “the elite”

    The first rule of truth telling is to use TRUTHFUL language.

    It means calling a spade a spade.

    In this article this rule is entirely violated.

    As an example, the governing authorities or bureaucrats or corporate leaders or ‘deep state’ players are not ‘the elite’ — they are THE SCUM OF HUMANS because they are REALITY-VERIFIED PSYCHOPATHS … read “The 2 Married Pink Elephants In The Historical Room” …. https://www.rolf-hefti.com/covid-19-coronavirus.html

    By failing to use TRUTHFUL language we are aiding in maintaining and promoting the destructive propaganda world (keeping lies and insanity alive) instead of revealing the deepest most important reality, promoting truth, and maintaining healthy authenticity. Higgins therefore is helping to keep society “more unequal” …

    How do self-styled “truth-tellers” wake up the masses to the so-called truth when they THEMSELVES use lies with their deceitful fake language???
    No one is “teaching” or “waking up” the ignorant masses to the core truths with lies, with the official “language of lies” (see cited source above).

  31. The researchers and whomever wrote the grossly misleading headline should be embarrassed of themselves. For the last several centuries, humans have not been governed by natural selection, thus Darwin’s theory had no bearing here. Humans have been unnaturally keeping people alive who would otherwise die naturally if natural selection took its course. In the 20th and 21st centuries, humans unnaturally controlled when and if they would reproduce. Thus, current human evolution no longer follows natural selection and unnatural means do not disprove natural selection.

  32. Just because the study finds that highly educated elites have fewer children, it does not follow that this is due to NATURAL selection. All it indicates is that these people may be selecting against themselves.

    Mike Judge explained precisely this in the first 10 minutes of “Idiocracy” back in 2006. Watch it.

    And to think that Darwin’s theory is aimed at promoting equality or equity is just bizarre woke nonsense. It is all about how inequalities (namely, superiorities) are achieved.

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