Iain Dale is Leading Britain's Conversation.
14 October 2017, 20:50
Natural selection has come to an end for human beings. We have peaked as a species.
Look around, this is as good as we are going to get.
Advances in medical science and our tendency to care for those who are least able to care for themselves is both our salvation and destructor.
Cancer treatment, for instance, is allowing survivors to pass on the genes that cause tumours.
Before modern medicine found a way around it, those people sick with cancer would have died and those cancer genes would have been naturally selected out of the gene pool.
That is not happening any more. Now you can live on a diet of cigarettes and turpentine and you can mainline cake right into your arm and modern medicine will keep you alive long enough to have 15 kids who will be parents themselves a few years after going on to solid foods.
A study from the University of Adelaide, which is an actual institution and not something I made up, concluded that besides the good things that medical science has brought us, the unintended consequence is that the gene pool is being degraded because those with illnesses that natural selection would have killed off are able to survive and pass those illnesses to the next generation.
People are being born with ill health because their sick parents were kept alive by medicine.
This is also true of stupidity.
Stupidity used to be an impediment to reproduction. It used to be a factor that made you unfit.
Chimpanzees of limited intelligence do not use tools and do not hunt in packs and so do not get the chance to reproduce because they are less fit for their surroundings than more intelligent chimps.
They make less attractive mates. The more adapted and advanced an individual is, the more likely they are to pass on their genes, making the whole species fitter over time.
That equation is broken in the human race.
You must watch a film called Idiocracy. It used to be a comedy about the future, now it is a documentary about the present.
It's about a time when through medical advances and social aid, the stupids out-reproduce the smarts and they get a leader that has barely enough sense to tie his own tie.
See? It is happening already.
The Australian study concluded that natural selection is broken for humans because of the quality of our healthcare.
Say what you like about the NHS, it is better than relying on leeches and prayers to extend our lives.
This broken order has allowed genetic mutations that would have been selected out to be passed on and to flourish.
And the better the healthcare, the worse the effect. Poor countries do not have the levels of cancer in their people as advanced Western nations.
Similarly, the better the social care, the more it is likely that those with the intelligence of a mealworm will be able to have multiple children, all cared for by the state.
The study suggested that cancer patients should consider undergoing genetic engineering to 'turn off' their tumour-causing genes and prevent them being passed on to future generations'.
And so should stupid people. Life should be like one of those roller-coasters at Disneyland – you must be at least this smart to go on this ride. Everyone else gets terminated.
That's not a controversial thing to say is it?
The researchers noted that 150 years ago, only half the population was fit enough to be able to pass on their genes. These days, everyone can regardless of the quality of those genes.
And the result is: The Jeremy Kyle Show, your neighbours, the audience in a cinema and everyone else on the road.