Happy Birthday, Charles!

Today is the 200th birthday of British naturalist Charles Darwin, who was born on February 12, 1809. Darwin's groundbreaking book, "The Origin of Species," theorizes that species evolve over time through the process of natural selection. Organisms most suited to their environment survive and reproduce, passing on their advantageous traits to offspring. Organisms that cannot compete go extinct.

Pretty simple. Not as COMPLEX as a supernatural force who pulls strings and snaps his finger and "creates" everything. A force which exudes so much force, but never does show his face. And proof of this force's existence has never been scientifically proven... only 'proven' by people who have 'faith' that he is actually there.

Natural Selection, on the other hand, is the BASIS OF MODERN BIOLOGY. So, does every biology book ever written, every college which teaches biology, every scientific discovery based on biology, and every natural process ever in existence which can be explained by Natural Selection fully is a load of HORSESHIT? Or is the supernatural force a load of BULLSHIT?

One side has evidence and witnesses, the other side has hearsay. One side has the entire scientific community (at least the reputable ones, not the likes of the Discovery Institute) who bases it's conclusions on facts that can be proven by modern scientific methods using technology that keeps decreasing the percentage of error of such conclusions, the other side has an old book written by those who used said book to control the masses using fear of death and continuity of the mind for eternity.

Darwin came up with his ideas after studying the different types of finches surviving throughout the Galapagos Islands. The seed-crushing bills of these little songbirds haven't stopped evolving. For example, the medium ground finch recently downsized its beak to exploit small seeds more efficiently after a larger finch arrived on its island and began competing for food. The smaller beaks on the smaller birds allowed them to thrive, while the big birds ate all the big seeds and nearly went extinct.

Here are just a few, as few as one grain of sand in the entire ocean, examples of Natural Selection and Man's impact on other species:

The human preference for large snow lotus plants, which are used in traditional Tibetan and Chinese medicine, has meant that only the smaller plants go to seed. Hence, the snow lotus is getting smaller.

In another example, scientists have found that human preference for trophy game such as big fish and caribou is driving these species to become smaller and reproduce at younger ages.

A population of tropical butterflies on a South Pacific island evolved resistance to a killer bacteria in the span of a single year. That is a split second in evolutionary time. The bacteria infects females and selectively kills males before they hatch. This reduced male Blue Moon butterflies to just 1 percent of the population. But just 10 generations later – a year's time – males made up nearly 40 percent of the population. Scientists said the rebound is due to the evolution of a so-called suppressor gene that keeps the killer bacteria in check. The butterflies which generated this gene survived, and they procreated.

A toxic toad, introduced in 1936 to wipe out a beetle species wreaking havoc on Australia's sugar cane crop, has become pest itself, evolving longer legs to help it hop across the country at an constantly increasing speed. For their first 20 years in the country, they spread at a pace of 6 miles per year. They now move at about 30 miles per year. Researchers found that the toads leading the cross-country march had legs that were 6 percent longer than those of the stragglers. The added length gives more speed, which permits the long-legged toads to secure the best habitat at the newly conquered terrain.

Flounder, sole, halibut and other flatfish have long been an evolutionary oddity. Both their eyes are on the same side of the head; an adaptation that allows them to lie flat on the ocean bottom while keeping their eyes on the lookout for passing prey. Opponents of evolution said that this could not have evolved gradually, as suggested by Natural Selection. That's because there would be no advantage for an intermediate form. But now, scientists have found those intermediate forms in museum collections. The 50 million-year-old fossils have a partially displaced eye.

Australian lizards, called skinks, are dropping their limbs to become more like snakes. Some skinks have gone 'snake' in just 3.6 million years, relatively fast in evolutionary time. The skinks' lifestyle appears to be driving the change. They spend most of their time navigating through sand or soil. Limbs are not only unnecessary for this, they may be a hindrance.

Humans are rapidly evolving, too. As people adapt to different regions, cultures and diets, they are becoming increasingly different from people elsewhere. For example, Europeans have evolved a tolerance for dairy products into adulthood, whereas people in China and most of Africa have not.

But this, and volumes upon volumes upon volumes of evidence cannot change most American's small un-evolved minds. In a Gallup Poll recently conducted, ONLY 39% of Americans believe in evolution.

As expected, education plays a big role here: 74% of those with post-graduate degrees believe in evolution. That's compared with only 21% of high school grads (or those with less education) who believe in the theory.

And when it comes to those who believe in the "Super Force"? 55% who don't attend church believe in evolution, versus 24% of weekly churchgoers who believe in it.

What would Darwin think of American resistance to Evolution? The De-Evolution of America? Well, he came up with the idea 20 years before he published the book. Also, his wife was a devout religious person, so he withheld the book until he was completely sure it was as perfect as he could convey the theory. I would think Darwin would say, "39% down, maybe 39% more will follow in another 200 years. Hell (the figurative one, not the 'literal' one), it took the church 300 years to accept the FACT that the Earth revolved around Sun."

Go to your public library, pick-up a science book, and read. The more the science books are read, the more the 61% will know about the life on Earth, the only 'life' there is.

1 comment:

Lemmy Caution said...

Excellent post! Thanks!
Happy Darwin Day !!