A Colony on Mars Could Speed Up Human Evolution

Changes in an environment will put pressure on whatever lives there to change and adapt over generations. On Earth, these environmental changes come slowly, allowing mutations and natural selection to change species in ways that work with the world around them. These changes in species occur faster when a smaller population is isolated, which allows advantageous mutations to remain and reoccur in subsequent generations. Evolutionary changes also come faster when the environment changes quickly, as happens when groups of a species migrate to new places.

So what would happen to a small population of human colonists on Mars? Their environment is changed relatively suddenly. Gravity is different. Their life support system is nothing like that on Earth. Environmental radiation is greater. The very act of traveling to another planet may influence a human body in the original generation. So how would their offspring and a few more generations change? Read of some evolutionary possibilities for humans living on Mars at Astronomy.  -via Real Clear Science 

As I was reading the article, allI could think of was "Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed," the first Ray Bradbury story I ever read. It isn't about evolution as we know it, but humans who were sent to colonize Mars turned into Martians without having to reproduce, just because of the environment.

#Mars #evolution #Martian

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