If Charles Darwin was alive, he’d be the most active 209-year-old Twitter follower Dorsa Amir. Dorsa, a devoted evolutionary anthropologist, regularly shares fascinating scientific content, and her latest posts are no exception. She revealed that “evolutionary leftovers” still exist in some of our bodies despite no longer having any present purpose, and the research quickly went viral.

“My interests and my research are all rooted in a deep curiosity about who we are as a species,” Dorsa told Bored Panda. “I think we are remarkable organisms for many reasons. One of the most interesting features of our story is that we are primates that evolved for millennia for a life of foraging, just living out in the wild, and incredibly in the last 10,000 years or so we’ve gone from that world to a world of supermarkets and spaceships. It’s stranger than science fiction. I’m tremendously lucky to have had the opportunity to turn this curiosity into a career, exploring who we are, where we came from, and how our rapidly changing environments and less-rapidly changing genes are functioning (or malfunctioning) in the present day. It’s the best job in the world.”

“For a trait to fully disappear, there usually needs to be active selection against it,” the scientist added. “That is, having that trait should be harmful enough that it negatively affects your ability to survive and reproduce. If it doesn’t, then it just kind of tags along for the ride longer than it’s useful. And it sometimes even learns new tricks. Given that there doesn’t appear to be active selection against these traits, I don’t think they’re going away any time soon. For example, whether or not you have this extra muscle in your arm doesn’t seem to affect how successful you will be at surviving or reproducing, so it’s kind of just… still there.”

With each of these tweets generating thousands of likes, people have even started inspecting themselves in an attempt to find these “reflections” of our former selves. And their children will probably be doing the same. “Natural selection is not a system geared toward perfect efficiency, and our technological and medical advances have weakened the force of selection quite a lot. So, for instance, lots of things that would have been death sentences in the past like influenza or Type I diabetes are manageable now and don’t necessarily reduce your ability to survive and have kids.”

The scientist strives towards helping everyone realize that evolution isn’t just “a chapter in their biology textbook or a fossil they saw at a museum.” According to her, it is a deep and fundamental part of who we all are, shaping us from the very beginning. Both our bodies and our minds. Continue scrolling to learn about its signatures and tell us what you think in the comments!

More info: Twitter

Image credits: DorsaAmir

Image credits: DorsaAmir

Image credits: DorsaAmir

People were eager to comment on these ‘leftovers’