Christopher Dye on Human Evolution
Not everything should evolve around economics and finance here and thus to prove to you, my dear reader, that I also do take an interest in other matters I thought that I would share the video below of a lecture given by Professor Christopher Dye (go here for full program) from the World Health Organizatio on human evolution, what it is and where it is going.
Now, to me; such a speech brings forth all kinds of fundamental questions (which is why I like wathcing the science lectures from Fora.tv). Especially relevant here, for me as a demographic wonk, is the discussion on births and especially teenage pregnancies where Dye makes the interesting observation that while an evolutionary push might lead to a higher prevalence of teenage births there is a strong cultural push in the other direction. One could even turn the perspective up a notch and ask the simple question of whether there isn't a contradiction between a demographic transition (development) driven by economic progress which so obviously favors below replacement birth rates which seems, to me, to be a trait not consistent with evolution. This is to say that it could appear that we are currently in a situation where our institutional set-up, as it were, tend to select for a reproductive profile which is not consistent with basic evolutionary tenets.