Washington: Will humans develop gigantic heads and scrawny bodies as depicted in some films?
The answer may vary but the fact that humans are still evolving can not be denied, said Briana Pobiner, an anthropologist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in the US.
"As long as there are humans, there will be human evolution," she noted at the two-day conference titled “Future Is Here” hosted by Smithsonian Magazine here recently.
The biggest evolutionary changes have occurred in the neocortex, the brain’s outer wrapping that processes abstract thinking, long-term planning, empathy and language, Pobiner said.
Historically, the birthing process has limited brain size, because babies’ heads had to fit through the birth canal.
Today, however, Caesarian sections circumvent that process, Pobiner added alluding that medical advances can play a role in human evolution.
But just as humans are continuing to evolve, human parasites are evolving, too, she said.
With rising sea levels and less land available, waterborne and airborne illness could spread more easily, Pobiner said.