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  • I ascribe to it and it is a fairly important part of how I see the world

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  • I consider it to be true, but it isn’t hugely important to me

    16 35.56%
  • I wish I could care more about it, either way\I don’t really give two shits

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  • I don’t place faith in the theory of evilution

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Thread: What is your view on the theory of evolution by natural selection?

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    Default What is your view on the theory of evolution by natural selection?


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    Some people claim that the "strongest" make their way; others believe that those who know how to cooperate are the ones who trive. Who knows?
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    Some people claim that the "strongest" make their way; others believe that those who know how to cooperate are the ones who trive. Who knows?
    “It is not the strongest of the species, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adapted to change.”
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    Jxrtes, when I said "strongest" I didn't mean physical strength. It may be "intelligence" (alpha NT version) or whatever trait. The point is that when you arrive to a company and if you are "better" at doing the job, the others undermine you so that they don't look incompetent. In this sense, what you said works, you have to adapt to the environment.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1981slater View Post
    Jxrtes, when I said "strongest" I didn't mean physical strength. It may be "intelligence" (alpha NT version) or whatever trait. The point is that when you arrive to a company and if you are "better" at doing the job, the others undermine you so that they don't look incompetent. In this sense, what you said works, you have to adapt to the environment.
    You're referring to an interpretation of social Darwinism which, other than bearing his name, has very little to do with Charles Darwin or his work. I don't think it was ever something he was actually purported to believe, either. In fact, the original edition of On the Origin of Species never even made use of the now common quip "survival of the fittest." This was something attributed after the fact by English philosopher Herbert Spencer in Principles of Biology, which came five years after the first edition of Darwin's Origin.

    Most of this "survival of the fittest" and social Darwinism crap hinges on a misrepresentation of natural selection as we have come to understand it in the modern day. It has absolutely nothing to do with the actual scientific use of the term. Moreover, the theory of evolution and natural selection is much more complex and refined today than it was in the 1800s. Though Darwin's work was legendary for its time -- genetics was not even discovered yet -- he did commit quite a few blunders which have since been corrected and reformed.
    Last edited by Capitalist Pig; 11-17-2010 at 12:54 PM.

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    Evolution is not "just" a theory in the same way that the germ theory of disease is not "just" a theory.

    Evolution has nothing to do with cosmology, and therefore nothing do to with the Big Bang Theory

    It is not a "way to explain life without God". Evolution does not equal, nor require atheism.

    Evolution does not require, nor permits faith; it is based on science.

    Evolution does not say that the design of the eye just popped up randomly. Evolution does not say that things happen by "random chance".

    Evolution does not say that we evolved from modern monkeys, but rather, it says that we and modern monkeys have common ancestors.

    Evolution is the explanation of the process by which speciation happens within a population in which accumulated changes over time occur within a species, drifting farther apart morphologically, physiologically and genetically so much so over several generations that two forms cannot interbreed with each other any longer, even though they are closely related, thus becoming two different species.

    Evolution still happens.
    Last edited by tereg; 11-17-2010 at 03:12 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tereg View Post
    Evolution is not "just" a theory in the same way that the germ theory of disease is not "just" a theory.
    It's also a fact, in the same way that the existence of germs is a fact.

    Quote Originally Posted by tereg View Post
    Evolution is the explanation of the process by which speciation happens within a population in which accumulated changes over time occur within a species, drifting farther apart morphologically, physiologically and genetically so much so over several generations that two forms cannot interbreed with each other any longer, even though they are closely related, thus becoming two different species.
    Or more succinctly, biological evolution refers to changes in the hereditary traits of populations through successive generations over time, which explains many things not limited to just biodiversity. It also refers to the common descent of all living things through a shared ancestor (i.e., for any two organisms, there is an ancestor in common somewhere along the line).

    This stuff falls into the realm of fact, verified through multiple channels including the fossil record, genetic evidence, anthropological analysis, and direct observation through experimentation.

    Theory enters the equation when attempting to explain how these things come about; be it through natural selection, mutation, recombination, genetic drift, et cetera and so fourth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1981slater View Post
    Some people claim that the "strongest" make their way; others believe that those who know how to cooperate are the ones who trive. Who knows?

    the concepts of adaptive inclusion and altruism is a big tenet of evolutionary psychology. the idea being that certain social behaviors increase the chances of survival.

    Evolutionary psychology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blaze View Post
    the concepts of adaptive inclusion and altruism is a big tenet of evolutionary psychology. the idea being that certain social behaviors increase the chances of survival.

    Evolutionary psychology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Evopsy is fascinating, but also controversial. I think it's a very intriguing approach, however.

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    Yeah tooth and claw survival of the fittest isn't really Darwinism, i'm working from memory so I may have some of the things wrong, it's been a few years... I think someone mentioned earler about that. But yeah take humans for instance who are social beings and work by co-operating, that's a big part of what makes a species fit enough to survive.

    The idea is that within a society, most people are altruistic. There are some people who take advantage of this altruism, but they are in the minority, too many people who aren't altruistic and the society of co-operation collapses. Or something. Been a while.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Capitalist Pig View Post
    Evopsy is fascinating, but also controversial. I think it's a very intriguing approach, however.
    no doubt.

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    I ascribe to it, and it's fairly important not in the sense of "hurr dem stoopid fundies gotta be set straight" (that part I don't really care about -- their delusion is socially beneficial), but rather because natural evolution has far-reaching implications within our own species. I'm a supporter of social Darwinism and eugenics.
    What do these signs mean—, , etc.? Why cannot socionists use symbols Ne, Ni etc. as in MBTI? Just because they have somewhat different meaning. Socionics and MBTI, each in its own way, have slightly modified the original Jung's description of his 8 psychological types. For this reason, (Ne) is not exactly the same as Ne in MBTI.

    Just one example: in MBTI, Se (extraverted sensing) is associated with life pleasures, excitement etc. By contrast, the socionic function (extraverted sensing) is first and foremost associated with control and expansion of personal space (which sometimes can manifest in excessive aagression, but often also manifests in a capability of managing lots of people and things).

    For this reason, we consider comparison between MBTI types and socionic types by functions to be rather useless than useful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aleksei View Post
    ......natural evolution has far-reaching implications within our own species. I'm a supporter of social Darwinism and eugenics.
    +1


    edit: to some extent

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    Quote Originally Posted by Parasite View Post
    edit: to some extent
    Well yeah, it's not like I'm gonna advocate killing dumb people or anything (though sometimes I grow frustrated enough with the human race to reach that extreme -- usually when I feel depressed/angry).
    What do these signs mean—, , etc.? Why cannot socionists use symbols Ne, Ni etc. as in MBTI? Just because they have somewhat different meaning. Socionics and MBTI, each in its own way, have slightly modified the original Jung's description of his 8 psychological types. For this reason, (Ne) is not exactly the same as Ne in MBTI.

    Just one example: in MBTI, Se (extraverted sensing) is associated with life pleasures, excitement etc. By contrast, the socionic function (extraverted sensing) is first and foremost associated with control and expansion of personal space (which sometimes can manifest in excessive aagression, but often also manifests in a capability of managing lots of people and things).

    For this reason, we consider comparison between MBTI types and socionic types by functions to be rather useless than useful.

    -Victor Gulenko, Dmitri Lytov

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    The theory of evolution is one of the most elegantly beautiful ideas ever conceived.
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    It's a good theory and there is a lot of evidence behind it, but ultimately I find it lacking. A lot of people are theistic evolutionists, though, believing in evolution and that God or a god used it as the process to create.
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    I'd have to say I've probably generally accepted this, and it is in my worldview at present to the extent that I consider it when thinking about other things. Anyway I would probably just follow the scientific consensus around on this one and I haven't really run into that much that tries to dismiss it in my mind. So it hangs there as the "current best explanation of what we know" and as "general knowledge" which of course that hinges upon that it is today's general knowledge. I've definitely read about it and come across it in classes and don't feel entirely misinformed, but I wouldn't feel confident exactly saying what I know about it either exactly but I do think I understand it in general... and concept-wise it makes sense to me. I've never really seen it as a conflict with spiritual matters, whatever it turns out to be and I think this is largely because I wasn't brought up in a religious environment (but also because whatever is in our physical/mortal world *can't* be mutually exclusive with spiritual matters if they exist and all science is doing is just looking at what exists in the physical world and making observations and coming up with explanations that best fit the observations... and I don't see that as being of conflict when considering it simply). Although I see religious texts as largely bodies of metaphor with layers of context to consider them in as far as interpreting them goes where what it means is more important than the particulars of it. There doesn't actually need to be a conflict or mutual exclusivity. Of course though if it's taken as word for word exactly then there will be conflicts between it and the findings of science, because then it's being treated as opposing sets of "facts" or something. Anyway even saying this doesn't get at it though because some things in the Bible (for instance) really were meant "literally" within their contexts, while others were meant as metaphors or literary stories meant to convey a deeper meaning that transcends such things (it's a mixed bag, especially considering that it was written by different people in different times/places and all the verbal passing of stories before it was written etc.). But still I see largely no real conflict (except this is like saying there's a "right way" to interpret it... which I can't say that... so in the end, of course there will be a conflict.) One thing I will say though is that I don't see how any scientific theory today "disproves God" so I don't think most of these things can touch "God" (not yet anyway, and I only say that to say I'm not saying it's impossible), and so in that sense, no conflict.

    In a way I think the truly horrible thing is that God has to constantly be dragged into the concept of evolution by nat selection (etc.) at all. If it exists and so does God then yes they have something to do with each other (but I certainly don't know what that something is and I rather question the sanity of people who would say they do). If science has all of this wrong, eventually chances are people will figure it out and disprove it scientifically (which dragging notions of God into won't do, so why bother).
    Last edited by inumbra; 11-18-2010 at 07:39 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Capitalist Pig View Post
    It's also a fact, in the same way that the existence of germs is a fact.
    I'm always reminded of a summary given in part of an AronRa video about creationism, where he summarizes the facts of evolution, defining fact as a point of data that is either not in dispute, or if it is, can be objectively proven to be true.

    It is a fact that evolution happens; that biodiversity and complexity do increase, that both occur naturally only by evolutionary mechanisms and according to the laws of population genetics.

    It is a fact that alleles vary with increasing distinction in reproductive populations and that these are accelerated in genetically isolated groups.

    It is a fact that natural selection, sexual selection, and genetic drift have all been proven to have predictable effect in guiding this variance, both in the scientific literature and in practical application.

    It is a fact that significant beneficial mutations do occur and are inherited by descendant groups, and that multiple independent sets of biological markers exist which trace these lineages backwards over many generations and even join sister taxa within parent clades.

    It is a fact that birds are a subset of dinosaurs in the same way that humans are a subset of apes, primates, eutherian mammals, and vertebrate deuterostome animals.

    It is a fact that the collective genome of all animals has been traced to its most basal form through reverse-sequencing, and that those forms are also indicated by comparative morphology, physiology, and embryological development, as well as through chronologically correct placement of successive stages revealed in the geologic column.

    It is a fact that everything on earth has definite relatives either living nearby or evident in the fossil record, and that the fossil record holds hundreds of definitely transitional species even according to the strictest definition of that term.

    It is a fact that both microevolution and macroevolution have been directly-observed and documented dozens of times, both in the lab and in naturally-controlled conditions in the field, and that these instances have all withstood critical analysis in peer-review.

    It is also a fact that evolution is the only explanation of biodiversity with either evidentiary support or scientific validity, and that no other would-be alternate notion has ever met even one of the criteria required of a theory.

    These are the facts of evolution, meaning that each of these points are demonstrably true and measurably accurate. Thus it is a matter of knowledge, rather than faith.



    Edit: Its importance really can't be understated in a scientific sense, given how pivotal it is in several fields of scientific discipline -- not just in biology.
    Last edited by tereg; 11-18-2010 at 01:25 PM.
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    I do agree that it is a fact. But I always have to speak from my blurred overlapping perspectives (that are all my differing perspectives) where I question "what do I really know and do I have a reason to justify it as my knowledge?" and where I question if I can really know anything as well as my sensitivity to reality and everything in it being perceived according to my conceptions of it.

    But if I turn all that off... in the grounded physical world, yes it would be a fact.

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    Evolution is, arguably, the overarching theme of Biology. Without Biology, Psychology and the Philosophy of the Mind lose a lot of their bases. Evolutionary psychology is simply an integral part of (at least my) understanding human behavior and interaction. It makes a lot more sense to view a person's central nervous system from the perspective that it is the summation of millions of years of evolution rather than as merely some vessel for "pure" consciousness.

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    I know it's not a good thing, and that it might be considered to be on the same plain as a fanatic, but for whatever reason it really pisses me off when people say that they don't believe in evolution.

    In my mind it's like saying you don't believe in gravity. I just want to scream out at your idiocy.


    Looking at the poll, I don't know why evolution would be important to anyone though. Not any more important than other natural occurrences.
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    If the question is whether or not individuals or groups most well suited for the circumstances upon which their survival depends tend to propagate over wide thresholds of time, I would say yes. However, within the context of a world where the lifestyles and demands change so rapidly that your environment you grew up in will be vastly different ten, twenty years down the road, I think it begins to dwindle in significance. Adaptability, intelligence, force, or chance, it's a toss up in this era.

    ETA: I guessed two of the people who voted no evolution. WIN!!!!
    Last edited by munenori2; 11-19-2010 at 09:47 AM.

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    Reverse darwinism is more common than darwinism.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Azeroffs View Post
    I know it's not a good thing, and that it might be considered to be on the same plain as a fanatic, but for whatever reason it really pisses me off when people say that they don't believe in evolution.

    In my mind it's like saying you don't believe in gravity. I just want to scream out at your idiocy.
    For whatever reason it really pisses me off when people say that they believe in evolution.

    In my mind it's like saying science is religion. I just want to scream out at your fanaticism.

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    Evolution makes sense when we study other animals in the wild, but humans are just....different. Our 'animal desires' are always balanced with moral reasoning.

    Like Richard Dawkins said (I think it was him) human beings will always be ABOVE science and evolution, because we have the ability to distance ourselves away from it, and understand it. Therefore, evolution doesn't apply to us, or if it DOES apply to us it can never *completely* apply to us.

    Self-awareness is such a boner killer, isn't it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aiss View Post
    For whatever reason it really pisses me off when people say that they believe in evolution.

    In my mind it's like saying science is religion. I just want to scream out at your fanaticism.
    TBH that kinda pisses me off too.. lol

    As if evolution is something to be believed in or not. It's not a belief system, it's something in our world that exists. Just like it would be crazy for people to say they believe or don't believe in chairs. I have more reason to not believe in Antarctica than I do to not believe in evolution. And I'm talking about biological evolution, I don't know anything about 'social Darwinism.'
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    Quote Originally Posted by BulletsAndDoves View Post
    Evolution makes sense when we study other animals in the wild, but humans are just....different. Our 'animal desires' are always balanced with moral reasoning.

    Like Richard Dawkins said (I think it was him) human beings will always be ABOVE science and evolution, because we have the ability to distance ourselves away from it, and understand it. Therefore, evolution doesn't apply to us, or if it DOES apply to us it can never *completely* apply to us.

    Self-awareness is such a boner killer, isn't it?
    As long as we're reproducing and passing on genes though, we're subject to it. I mean even creatures that have apparently changed very little through out generations for millions of years are still subject to it (the variance is less, but still visible probably throughout the generations). So because we're living organisms we can never be above it (it's a bitch being just like everything else, isn't it? ).

    Anyway but we can be above it in spirit and all and yes we're the only one's who can actually be aware of what is happening to us and then get our dirty little hands involved and try to control things more directly both with our own species and with others (which I mean we already do). Not that I have a problem with this (I think it's to be expected of ones so glorious as us--kidding). But we also are way more egotistical/arrogant than every other species by virtue of our "vast" self-awareness as far as I can tell. And we can commit far greater evils.

    We're not at the mercy of our environment though to the extent that every other species is. So we can distance ourselves quite literally. Maybe it's like trying to be our concepts of God. The pure beings who appear in our myths (like angels) are perhaps simply the reflection of this purer side of ourselves that watches over and understands what is happening but has no need to participate (a dual nature--like an animal but like angels/demons).

    If only I wasn't going to die in 50 years or so (or before). I could watch what happens. If I watched from far enough away and saw it all compacted in a way I could understand, I wonder if I'd even think we're worth it (of course from such a vantage point I'd wonder if any of it is).

    I guess I don't see how we could be more like "God" than anything else though.

    sorry for use of the grand "we"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Azeroffs View Post
    TBH that kinda pisses me off too.. lol

    As if evolution is something to be believed in or not. It's not a belief system, it's something in our world that exists. Just like it would be crazy for people to say they believe or don't believe in chairs. I have more reason to not believe in Antarctica than I do to not believe in evolution. And I'm talking about biological evolution, I don't know anything about 'social Darwinism.'
    False. It is one interpretation of the evidence in the natural world. It just happens to be the leading one. Therefore, I would say it is a belief.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bardia View Post
    False. It is one interpretation of the evidence in the natural world. It just happens to be the leading one. Therefore, I would say it is a belief.
    Technically, I can't argue with that, but what serious alternative is there?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bardia View Post
    False. It is one interpretation of the evidence in the natural world. It just happens to be the leading one. Therefore, I would say it is a belief.
    How do you define the difference between, or rather, how are you defining knowledge and belief?
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    I was actually the first to vote suspicion/moderate scepticism on this. Fail.

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    But you're labcoat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bardia View Post
    False. It is one interpretation of the evidence in the natural world. It just happens to be the leading one. Therefore, I would say it is a belief.
    False. It's the interpretation that so far makes the most sense and has the best fit with the evidence we have. If we go by your definition of belief, everything is a "belief", since a typical "scientific" process requires falsification in order to be set in place. But that's not how usually "belief" is intended - something you "believe" in needs so type of arbitrary decision process, as opposed to a reasoned one.

    Of course this doesn't mean it's true, or that we don't have to be skeptical about it. I guess it might be said that it's the theory we can - so far - be the least skeptical about.
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    I think that studying geology has afforded me a great respect and enjoyment for the theory of evolution. It has certainly expanded my knowledge and appreciation for the Earth and its 4.5 billion year history.

    In my mind, the only question is how to educate those who are not scientifically-minded or simply not interested in science.
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    I reserve the right to use the word "believe" when I declare my adherence to the theory of evolution. "Believe" has several different meanings, and just because someone happens to use the word doesn't mean they exercise religious faith in the object of their belief. I don't pray to Natural Selection, for instance.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    I reserve the right to use the word "believe" when I declare my adherence to the theory of evolution. "Believe" has several different meanings, and just because someone happens to use the word doesn't mean they exercise religious faith in the object of their belief. I don't pray to Natural Selection, for instance.
    It's an argument of semantics so you're right.

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    for those who voted that it's a fairly important part of how they see the world: can i ask why?

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    Quote Originally Posted by laghlagh View Post
    for those who voted that it's a fairly important part of how they see the world: can i ask why?
    The history of life is one of the most interesting things I've ever encountered and has expanded my perspective accordingly. Additionally, knowledge of evolution and abiogenesis allows me to imagine the potential for life elsewhere in the universe, and how humankind will evolve in the future.
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    It's an important part of how I see the world because it concerns a subject that is very important to me - it explains how things came about, and it also helps to reassure me that other explanations simply do not hold weight - which may be important re my immortal soul.

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    Yea lol "I believe in it", but belief isn't the right word, the thing the media never understands about evolution is its not in competition against religion. Religion and Science aren't competitors, they are totally different aspects of society and life. Science isn't concerned with beliefs but investigations, science is a grand enterprise of investigation of our universe at the most deep and profound level. So to say "I believe in evolution" is a false statement, something more like "I am convinced of its validity" is good. But beyond just being like a scientist and all like "I concur", the important thing is that I find it fascinating to think about, and I think people who consider it evil or incorrect are uncreative and bland moralists.

    First thing to understand is people don't evolve from apes but rather that the apes we see evolved from the same evolutionary branch we as humans did. Humans today didn't evolve from modern day apes, humans evolved from ancient ape-like species that no longer exist. Modern day apes didn't exist either, they evolved from ancient ape-like species also. If you go far enough back you reach a common branch on the evolutionary tree where the primates evolved from other species.

    Second thing is that natural selection doesn't work like a fish going out of water occasionally and all of sudden gills appear. Its an extremely long term process. Certain attributes appear due to natural variation on different members of a species and these attributes in some way lend them a superiority in surviving, which of course reinforces their ability to reproduce and carry those traits on. Natural selection favors traits that lead to reproduction and survival and not "strength". As to what causes natural variation, this is the complexity of DNA and mutations.

    And that is purely biological evolution, there is also chemical/astronomical evolution which works on a much larger scale, and is a lot more fascinating in my opinion. Stars are like cosmic forges from the elements, if humanity were to master the energy of the sun (fusion) we could cast elements together and break them apart, forming matter at the atomic level, progressing man's control over matter from mere tools, to the blacksmith, to the cosmic level of building things from atoms-- quantum computers, architecture on the atomic scale (nanotechnology), and so forth. Just imagine, an entire computer, a city the size of a grain of sugar on the tip of your index finger.

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