To survive on the earth, how have humans adapted in various environments that are changing? There must be multiple scenarios. Here we try to answer the question in two aspects: one is physiological polytypism, and another is genetic polymorphism.
Humans live in greatly various environments on the earth. Such human adaptation(s) have two distinct aspects: one is physiological adaptation and another is environmental adaptation. The former includes physiological reactions for environmental (temperature, light, air pressure, etc.) stimulus to humans that induce plastic adaptations without any genetic changes, while the latter is achieved by genetic changes through the process of mutation, positive selection, and fixation of the mutation in a population. In traditional ways of thinking commonly, these two are not exactly separated; in scientific fields of biological anthropological studies, these have been discussed as different sphere from each other. However, each adaptation should be reciprocally related to one another, and both must have driven human evolution. To discuss about the relationship between physiological adaptation (appeared as physiological polytypism) and environmental adaptation (based on genetic polymorphism), here we have a panel entitled "Environment and Adaptation in Human Evolution." In this panel, four speakers (two are from physiological anthropology and another two are from physical anthropology) will give a talk concerning topics that lately attract considerable attention in each scientific field, and will discuss about the mechanism(s) of human evolution.