Saturday, April 5, 2008

Evolutionarily Speaking

So, evolutionarily speaking sometimes I think that we have gotten so smart that it interferes with natural selection. I am by no means a biologist; I am, just speculating here. But…lets take bad vision for example. I have horrible vision. I know poor vision can be an acquired trait, but I believe it is also inherited. Non-the less, bad visioned people such as myself are “weaker.” But with the invention of glasses we can be equal to others. I am just as glad as the next glasses wearer that I am not lying in a ditch somewhere due to falling in a crevasse, but I wonder, now I will pass on my bad genes to my offspring? This is speaking purely evolutionary…I am happy I’m not dead.

Also, why do people who don’t believe in evolution not really understand it? I understand that they don’t believe it, but they don’t get how it works. Like my Christian friends ask why they can’t see it happen. They don’t understand that we need a reason to change, like environment. And hopefully, for the sake of humanity, natural selection will work for us when our environment changes drastically. PS: you can see it happen, you just have to look at the evidence in the natural history museums!

5 comments: said...

I love the creationist who claim that evolution means we evolved from moneys. I have even had somebody say to me "If we evolved from gorilla's then why are there still gorilla's". I am sure that someone with no scientific understanding could see that as a valid argument.

Interesting point about the vision. What you are talking about here is artificial selection. Kind of like when you breed dogs in order to come up with certain traits. I agree that artificial selection may be playing a bigger role in our evolution.

I do have to disagree with your point that we need a reason to change, such as environment. Genetic mutations occur all the time. Some have minimal impact and will be lost to the next generation and some will provide a disadvantage and therefore will not be passed on. Still others may provide an advantage and will then be passed on to future generations. Environment may be one of the factors that helps in the selection process. This is a long process and may not be readily observable from within the system.

Tell your christian friends that you can see evolution take place. The easiest example are the Darwin Finch's, not to mention countless viruses as the adapt to become resistent to antibiotics. Servival of the fittest. :)

atheist girl said...

thanks for the comment secular. yes! artificial selection, that is a great word. i think that is what is happening in the human side of evolution. i agree with you that mutations happen all the time for no reason, but i think it would take something environmentally huge to force the entire species to change. i dont mean little changes, but into another species all together. like in "Water World" kevin costner had gills and webbed hands and feet. the smart humans should have mated with him, but they thought he was a freak and shunned him. i thought that was funny from an evolutionary standpoint.

Adam_Y said...

Evolution's tricky, that's why people often misunderstand it, especially those that don't believe in it... since they haven't really taken the time to study it.

Sure, as humans we have been able to influence our environment, and therefore to some extent lead our own evolutionary path, but there are still far bigger environmental variables that influence our evolution.

Wolf said...

True that we have eliminated much of our natural selection pressures. Babies are best born between 6 and 9 pounds--but now we keep premature babies alive. Eyesight is a good example too, though there is a place in human society for near and far-sighted people (sometimes these folks have incredible vision for what they can see). I should be dead several times over from ear-infections, but was saved by antibiotics. We took the pressure off, and our population exploded.

The lack of understanding in creationists, or even worse, "Intelligent Design" folks is truly amazing. Their arguments basically boil down to "I don't understand it, think it's too complicated, haven't studied it myself, and have been told that it's false, therefore it is wrong."

It takes a few minutes to explain the basic principles of natural selection, but a minimum of a semester's worth of intent study to grasp the whole scope of the theory of evolution. I have yet to meet an anti-evolutionist who has taken the time to do this.

atheist girl said...

great comment wolf. one semester is not too much to ask. we are bombarded a whole lifetime with creationism, is 8 weeks that much?