I must say I'm dubious about this bit:
"The widespread assumption that human evolution has slowed down because it's easier to live and we've conquered nature is absolutely not true. We didn't conquer nature, we changed it in ways that created new selection pressures on us," said anthropologist Dr John Hawks, who led the study.
It does seem likely to me that natural selection is hardly affecting modern Westerners, who have a low risk of not surviving to adulthood and reproducing, no matter how defective they are. But that's a feature of only one part of the world's population over only the last 100 years or two, so the fact that there have been a lot of genetic changes over the last 5000 years don't render the theory any less credible.
But anyway, why's this one for Phil U? Well, Phil's a staunch hater of dairy products - not even the fact that Paul McCartney's loony one-legged ex shares his hatred seems to disconcert him. So I have to point out this bit:
So, it turns out that milk is good for whitey - helps make up for the inherent gimpiness of being white. Don't worry though, milk-haters - the sunlight ain't exactly weak around here...
Some of the changes were tracked back to just 5,000 years ago, and "today they are in 30 or 40% of people because they [are] such an advantage," said Hawks.
Many Chinese and African adults cannot digest lactose in milk, but across Europe a lactose-tolerance gene is now widespread. One reason is thought to be that at northern latitudes sunlight is weaker, so people make less vitamin D in their skin. Vitamin D is crucial for absorbing calcium, so being able to digest milk throughout life made people in colder climes healthier.