Thursday, December 01, 2005

A Short Lesson in Natural Selection

The Intelligent Design Debate is still going strong, darn it. One of the big points of distate in evolution is the nature of random mutation. What the randomness qualm misses is the non-random nature of natural selection.

Case in point: my hunting ground has rabbits that are slow enough for me to run down and catch, and when I catch them I eat them, killing the rabbit in the process. Now suppose that one of the rabbits has developed a random tick that makes it faster, be it longer legs, faster reflexes, or even sharper senses to see me coming from farther away. Either way, I won't catch that one, but I will still be dining on slow rabbit. My "selection" is not random, and after several generations, the local breed of rabbit is going to have the "faster than an out of shape human" quality. Once that happens, my progeny are going to have to develop the in shape quality or the hunting tool quality to keep up.

In the first instance, I have had a hand in the evolution of the rabbit. In the second, the rabbit has had a paw in the evolution of humans. Yet another idea for ID'ers to choke on.

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