The GLP is committed to full transparency. Download and review our Annual Report.

Evolution is sometimes messy or even outright ridiculous

| | October 24, 2014

In the real world, evolution can’t explain itself. It acts without intention, and unless we find enough revealing fossils, we can’t see all the steps it took to develop a particular organism—all we can see are the results. But on my blog, I imagine what evolution would have to say for itself if it could account for some of its stranger creations. I imagine it would sound a bit like everyone’s least-motivated co-worker, who has a few half-baked ideas but typically does the bare minimum it takes to get by. I think it would go something like this:

“You know that elephant seal I made? The one with the awesome floppy nose?”

“Yes, evolution, that was a pretty good nose.”

“And you know how it kept getting parasites up inside it?”

“I heard that was an issue.”

“I fixed it.”

“You fixed it? What did you do, give the elephant seal more protective mucus? A better immune system? Stronger nose hairs?”

“Nope! That all seemed too hard. I just made a nose-picking bird.”

“A nose-picking bird.”

“Works great!”

Here’s the thing about evolution: It’s a powerful force that produces an incredible diversity of adaptations for life on Earth, but it’s not exactly thinking any of them through. It doesn’t have a particular goal in mind when it starts working on an organism. And if it were thinking? It would clearly be out of its mind.

Read full, original article: Seriously, Evolution: WTF?

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.

Send this to a friend