People Sunset

Humans still evolving, claim scientists, according to Flinders University News and SciTech Daily 8 October 2020, BBC Science Focus and Science Alert 9 October 2020, Interesting Engineering 11 October 2020, and Journal of Anatomy published online 10 September 2020 doi:10.1111/joa.13224. 

Researchers at Flinders University and University of Adelaide have found an increase in the number of adults who have an artery named the median artery in their forearms.  This artery is formed during embryonic development and does a very important task in supplying the growing forearm and hand. But in most people it disappears as the two main arteries of forearm, the radial and ulnar arteries, develop and take over. 

The research team found median arteries were present in 26 of the 78 forearms of adult bodies donated to the medical college in 2015 and 2016.  Most of the bodies were from people born in the first half of the 20th century.  The researchers checked older records and found that only 10% of people born in the 1880s had a median artery. 

According to Teghan Lucas of Flinders University, “This increase could have resulted from mutations of genes involved in median artery development or health problems in mothers during pregnancy, or both actually. If this trend continues, a majority of people will have a median artery of the forearm by 2100.” 

Maciej Henneberg, a professor of medicine at Adelaide University and member of the Institute of Evolutionary Medicine at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, commented: “This is micro evolution in modern humans and the median artery is a perfect example of how we’re still evolving because people born more recently have a higher prevalence of this artery when compared to humans from previous generations.”

Links: BBC, Flinders University, Interesting Engineering, Science Alert, SciTech Daily

Editorial Comment:  In spite of the BBC’s claim that “Humans are evolving an extra artery in the arm” no extra artery is evolving.  All humans possess a median artery in their early development, so no new structure has evolved. 

In case you are thinking that having three arteries in the forearm would be an evolutionary gain, it isn’t.  There is no benefit from having a median artery when you have two other fully functional arteries, and for some people it is associated with carpal tunnel syndrome – a painful condition of the hand.

They only reason this study was reported so widely in general science news is because of the claim ‘humans are evolving’.  If the statistics quoted in this study do represent a real change in the number of people retaining this artery into adulthood, then the explanations given by Tegan Lucas but not reported widely in the media are probably true, i.e. the cause is either loss of genetic control, or the effect of disease.  Both of these are degeneration, not evolution!  Such findings are another reminder that human beings, like all living things, are going downhill, not evolving upwards. 

Creation Research Update 14 October 2020