By Mara Grunbaum
All of us have our off days. Why may still Evolution be any diversified? possibly Evolution obtained over excited with an concept that was once somewhat too crazy—like having the Regal Horned Lizard safeguard itself by way of capturing three-foot streams of blood from its eyes. or even Evolution ran out of steam (Memo to Evolution: The Irrawaddy Dolphin seems like a prototype that are supposed to were left at the drawing board). or even Evolution used to be feeling cheeky—a fish with palms? Joke's on you, purple Handfish! or even Evolution easily goofed up: How else to provide an explanation for the overgrown the teeth of the babirusas that curl backward over their face? Oops.
Mara Grunbaum is a truly clever, very humorous technological know-how author who celebrates the best—or, fairly, the worst—of Evolution's errors. listed here are greater than a hundred outlandish mammals, reptiles, bugs, fish, birds, and different creatures whose very life leaves us shaking our heads and muttering WTF?! Ms. Grunbaum's specifically incredible stroke is to personify Evolution as a well-meaning yet a little oblivious experimenter whose conversations with a skeptical narrator are hilarious.
For nearly four billion years, Evolution has produced a nonstop parade of inflatable noses, extraordinary genitalia, and heavily awkward necks. What a comic!
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Extra resources for WTF, Evolution?!: A Theory of Unintelligible Design
I was fond of arguing from humans to other creatures, anywayrather than the opposite-perhaps because I came to biology rather late in life; I did not take a biology course until I was twenty-four. Q: Reading between the lines, I recognize in your paper the same sort of social commitment that led Kropotkin to develop his ideas .... A: People keep asking about Kropotkin. You know, I have never read the anthropologists who wrote about reciprocity, and I have never read Kropotkin. ] But you're right about my political preferences.
Smith's views were complex, however. As a moral philosopher, he knew full well that it would be hard to hold a society together purely on the basis of egoism. Like Huxley, Smith mellowed with age; he consecrated the final years of his life to a revision of A Theory of Moral Sentiments, expanding on his earlier belief in unselfish motives. ,,26This passage still stands as one of the most succinct and elegant definitions of human sympathy, a tendency Smith believed present in even the staunchest ruffian.
In nature, the chance of becoming attached to the wrong kind of object is minimal, but scientists have been able to make birds follow toy trucks and bearded zoologists. Therefore, what is innate in these birds is not so much any precise knowledge of their species, but a tendency to acquire this knowledge at a critical stage in life. The mind does not start out as a tabula rasa, but rather as a checklist with spaces allotted to particular types of incoming infor- DARWINIANDILEMMAS 35 mation. Predispositions to learn specific things at specific ages are widespread, the best human example being language acquisition.
WTF, Evolution?!: A Theory of Unintelligible Design by Mara Grunbaum