Monday, July 30, 2012

Darwinism, the hammer of the current age

Except for a few small, sad people who believe the bible is a history lesson rather than a life lesson, everyone embraces Darwinism and evolution. Sometimes, however, evolution gets credit for something it is not. Witness this comment by Kottke on his post Gorilla's Getting Smarter, "I fully support this type of evolution."

I'm giving Kottke the benefit of the doubt and assume he was being humorous. Learned characteristics are not a "type of evolution", and are not inherited. If gorillas have evolved to dismantle traps, they are far ahead of humans.

However, if he meant that all the gorillas not intelligent or resourceful or quick enough to dismantle a trap will eventually all be killed in traps and only those left, who, it could be argued, have some genotype that exhibits itself in learning from their elders how to dismantle a trap—well, then he could support that type of evolution. (In deference to Myk, this process could be aided if female gorillas get turned on by male gorillas showing-off by dismantling traps.)

I also loved the prime directive in the referenced article, "Gorilla's Seen Dismantling Deadly Traps", where "Fossey Fund staff cannot teach gorillas how to dismantle snares because it is against their policy to intentionally change gorillas’ natural behavior".

No comments: