15 Misconceptions About Evolution
I don’t think these will surprise any of my followers but it’s always nice to have a refresher
15. Evolution is a theory about the origin of life
The theory of evolution primarily deals with the manner in which life has changed after its origin. While science is interested in the origins of life (for example the composition of the primeval sludge from which life might have come) but these are not issues covered in the area of evolution. What is known is that regardless of the start, at some point life began to branch off. Evolution is, therefore, dedicated to the study of those processes.
14. Organisms are always getting better
While it is a fact that natural selection weeds out unhealthy genes from the gene pool, there are many cases where an imperfect organism has survived. Some examples of this are fungi, sharks, crayfish, and mosses – these have all remained essentially the same over a great period of time. These organisms are all sufficiently adapted to their environment to survive without improvement.
Other taxa have changed a lot, but not necessarily for the better. Some creatures have had their environments changed and their adaptations may not be as well suited to their new situation. Fitness is linked to their environment, not to progress.
- Andrew: Earth is rather awesome.
- Dan: I wonder what evolutionary mechanism makes us feel awe at [a towering mountainscape].
- Andrew: Fear/respect of the unknown.
- Dan: Fear, sure. Why does that mutate into respect? Is respect a byproduct of our status as social animals? Would we respect the mountain and the stars if we weren't?
- Andrew: Yes, we are programed to fear and repect our superiors becuase their is danger inherent in not doing so IE being cast out of the tribe. So we fear heights and the unknown as they both hold there own dangers. From there we develop respect for them.
- But obviously we can't be constantly afriad of everything we encounter if we are to be master of the land. So fear becomes respect, a safe distance and a smile at the feast lion. A whistful whistle at the towering giants.
- That's part of why we take so much pleasure in naming the stars and climbing the mountians. It's the same pride we feel from a succesful hunt, the conquest of a powerful force by human will and intellect.
“The Evolution of Homosexuality - Boing Boing”