Cilantro, Wisdom Teeth, and Lamarck's Giraffes

Ever heard of survival of the fittest? You probably have, but did you know it is actually a concept derived from the thoughts of Herbert Spencer? Charles Darwin is often given credit for ideas regarding natural selection due to his study of biological evolution in the 19th century. However, the two are comparably similar considering natural selection is one of the main principles behind biological change, henceforth, evolution.

 

Natural selection is one of the basic mechanisms of evolution, along with mutation, migration, and genetic drift.”

 

Another look into natural selection elaborates on the fact that the successful traits are passed on to the next generation. A prime example of this is Lamarck’s theory of use and disuse. This should mean the constant use of a specific trait would allow it to improve over generations.

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Something to think about is how we use tools and systems to force evolution, making life easier at the moment, but perhaps making the evolutionary process of improvement to slow. Yet, one could argue the other end of the spectrum by saying we will adapt to the use of the tools we create, and the tools are our way of adapting in the present day.

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“It is true that Spencer argued that state welfare, education, and public health programs were contrary to the laws of nature and should be avoided because they slowed the evolutionary process that was weeding out the unfit members of society.”

 

What do you think about Spencer’s claim?

 

On the last weXplore The Fellowsheep discussed some modern day evolution. For example, does lack of wisdom teeth rank you higher on the evolutionary scale? How about the hate for cilantro? Where would that rank us? Bottom line, species evolve on small scales and slowly, adapting to our environment. While big picture ideas like Darwin's study of birds of Lamarck's giraffes are easy to grasp we must keep in mind these changes did not happen over night.