Posted Friday, Jan. 15, 2010, at 12:41 PM
As reported earlier this week in the journal Nature , biologists at MIT's Whitehead Institute found that the Y chromosome has evolved more rapidly than any other human chromosome. Fabulous. Just when it looked like hard data definitively debunked the notion of innate female inferiority, we find out that the male chromosome is actually a genetic power broker-a far cry from the wisp of DNA scientists had long hypothesized it to be. Researchers believe that the Y's diminutive size, once thought to be the result of genetic decay, actively accelerates evolution.
So are men "more evolved" than women? Not exactly. As the Times noted, "This does not mean that men are evolving faster than women, given that the two belong to the same species, but it could be that the Y’s rate of change drives or influences the evolution of the rest of the human genome." After decades of striving for equal opportunity, men still fill the role of rainmaker in the biological boardroom-in mammals, at least.