Natural selection can make society more unequal

MADRID, July 7 (European press) –

Modern humans are still evolving, but natural selection favors those with lower incomes and lower educationAccording to research from the University of East Anglia (UEA).

New study Published in Behavioral GeneticsShows how natural selection effects stronger in the lower income and lower education groups, Among younger fathers, people who do not live with a partner, and people who have more lifelong sexual partners.

in the meantime, Natural selection squeezes genes associated with higher education and higher incomes, A lower risk of developing ADHD or major depressive disorder and a lower risk of coronary artery disease.

principal investigator, Professor David Hugh Jones, University of East Anglia School of EconomicsHe said: “Darwin’s theory of evolution states that all species evolve through natural selection from small inherited variations that increase an individual’s ability to compete, survive and reproduce.

“We wanted to learn more about which traits are chosen for and against in modern humans living in the UK.”

The research team analyzed data from more than 300,000 people in the UK, taken from the UK’s Biobank, A long-term project investigating the contributions of genetic predisposition and environmental vulnerability to disease development.

The team studied participants’ polygenic scores: an estimate of a person’s genetic ability, which predicts a person’s health, education, lifestyle or personality.

They studied two generations of people living in the UK, using data on the number of siblings of the participants, as well as the number of their children.

David Hugh Jones said: It is a statement:We found that 23 of 33 polygenic scores were significantly associated with someone who had more or fewer children in their lifetime. The scores that correlate with lower income and education predicted having more children, which means that these scores are chosen from an evolutionary perspective.

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“Scores that correlate with higher income and education predicted having fewer children, which means they are being chosen against them.

“The effects were particularly strong among people with less education and lower incomes, and among people who did not live with a partner. Among older mothers, the effects were actually reversed: In this group, the scores that correlate with higher incomes were selected.

“We explain these patterns using the economic theory of fertility, which was first developed over 60 years ago. If you have genes associated with higher incomes, this has two opposite effects.

“It makes you feel better, so you can have more children. But it also makes spending time on childcare instead of your job more expensive, because you’ll lose out on higher salaries.”

“The first effect leads to more children, the second effect leads to fewer children. At lower incomes, the second effect is more powerful. This explains the results we’re seeing.

Our explanation shows how Economics and genetics can work together.

Natural selection can make society more unequal, by increasing the association between income and polygenic scores, Including scores that predict health and education outcomes.

The research was led by UEA in collaboration with Abdel-Abdlawi, a geneticist at the UMC Medical Center, Amsterdam.

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