Geneticist Bruce Lahn discusses ongoing evolution of humans

C. E. Atkins in Seed Magazine:

Screenhunter_2_12Geneticist Bruce Lahn first made a name for himself when he paired with David Page, director of MIT’s Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, to craft a novel theory on the origins of the Y chromosome. But Lahn is perhaps best known for his paper on the evolution of the human brain, and the implications for intelligence and race that have become attached to it.

Lahn’s paper on the recent evolution of the human brain asserts that new versions of two genes are currently spreading through the human population, and that these genes are more prevalent in some geographic regions than others. He has speculated that these genes may be linked to brain size and intelligence and has wondered if the mutations—one of which took place roughly 40,000 years ago, the other, 5,800 years ago—correlate with the development of art, written language, and the founding of cities. And he stepped on more than a few feet when he noted that, geographically speaking, the changes had occurred pretty much everywhere but sub-Saharan Africa.

More here.