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Jan 26th 2011 9:56AM addendum to nazihunter per my reply to him/her, wherever it is:
Sherpas are renowned in the international climbing and mountaineering community for their hardiness, expertise, and experience at high altitudes. It has been speculated that a portion of the Sherpas' climbing ability is the result of a genetic adaptation to living in high altitudes. Some of these adaptations include unique hemoglobin-binding enzymes, doubled nitric oxide production, hearts that can utilize glucose, and lungs with an increased sensitivity to low oxygen.
Sherpas are short in stature to accelerate the speed of circulation around the body and also breathe more quickly than the average person to extract more oxygen from the thin air.
Jan 26th 2011 8:43AM nazihunter,
The fact that, as you stated, these people have been doing this for thousands of years is the very proof of evolution in action. This extraordinary ability to adapt to these extreme conditions of hypoxia and pressure did not happen overnight. Environmental conditions and the need for food pressured the evolutionary changes in the physiology/anatomy/behavior of these people. I would just bet his daddy and his daddy before him were capable of the same feats, albeit not as well. And if he had a brother who did not inherit the abilities he probably starved, did not have children, and did not pass on the weaker traits. Survival of the fittest. The Sherpa people of Nepal are another great example of this adaptation occurring as a result on environmental pressures and heredity(evolution).
Jan 25th 2011 8:36PM Interesting story. This is how evolution takes place. If these people were to thrive , prosper, and reproduce, over time their progeny would become more and more adaptive and proficient at hunting underwater than those less so, particularly if the environment on land became less hospitable. I would dare say, within a few generations, their lung capacity would quadruple, vision would become more acute, and perhaps even webbed feet would develop. We came from the sea, perhaps some are destined to return.