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Armed and Dangerous: Human Evolution in Action — Or Is It Fake News?

Photo credit: sina rezakhani via Unsplash.

Researchers say a growing number of adults have a persistent, prominent median artery in their arms, an artery that’s important in the embryonic stage but tends to disappear later on. The study was quickly promoted in the popular press with breathless headlines such as “Evolution arms us with an extra artery.”

From the magazine Cosmos:

The human body continues to evolve in intriguing ways. New research in Australia has confirmed that more and more adults have a median artery in their forearms.

Or, more accurately, they have retained the median artery. It is the main vessel that supplies blood to the forearm and hand in the womb, but usually disappears once the radial and ulnar arteries develop.

Usually, but not always. Since the 18th century, anatomists have been studying its existence in adults, and the new study suggests it could soon become the norm.

On a new episode of ID the Future, host Eric Anderson and physician Howard Glicksman discuss the original article in the Journal of Anatomy suggesting new microevolutionary changes. It sounds like human evolution, before our eyes. Or is there some danger here of falling into a fake news trap? On the way to separating hype from substance, Anderson and Glicksman dive into the physiology of arteries and embryological development. Download the podcast or listen to it here.

Their conversation grows out of a post on the subject by Anderson at Evolution News. Oh and by the way, don’t let the new opening and closing ID the Future bumpers catch you off guard. They make their first “appearance” on this episode.