How will the current social environment affect the path of human evolution? By definition, evolution results from the thriving of the advantageously adapted. Those better suited to the environment survive and pass on their genes, while the less advantageously adapted pass away and don’t reproduce. Has the social environment altered what is considered advantageous?
Like in the past, certain disease will decrease in likelihood as they fail to remain in the gene pool. An example of this mechanism still in action can be seen in diseases like Tay-Sachs, where those with it often don’t reach sexual maturity. Other previously devastating ailments like infections are easily treated by inexpensive medication. Even those who can’t afford the medication can utilize social programs to get the treatment. This social atmosphere levels the playing field so that those with a stronger immune system aren’t at such a significant advantage. Will this in slow the progress of human evolution? Perhaps it will, but by no means would I favor a system that denies basic healthcare to those who can’t afford it. I theorize that compassion may a product of evolution as well. In our more primitive form, cooperation/compassion was essential for survival. They may have roots in the expectation of reciprocation. It’s just an interesting thought about the evolutionary path our species will blaze and the effect that the social environment has on it.