This is the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Denyse O'Leary—your favorite Toronto science writer—tries to lighten your day with a very funny posting on Post-Darwinist and Uncommon Descent [Coffee!! Evolution in action! Check with your local humane society!].
She's responding to the idea that Lenski’s long-term experiment with E. coli has led to bacteria that have "changed shape, changed size, changed metabolism and changed food source."
Denyse replies ...
So the claim is, “changed shape, changed size, changed metabolism and changed food source. How much more MACRO do you expect an organism to evolve?”Thanks for the comic relief, Denyse. But aren't you worried that someone might think you're serious?
Hmmmm. Kittens do this all the time.
Change size? You bet. Goes from a couple of ounces to five lbs in half a year.
Change shape? Sure. The average newborn kitten is just a little bag of mewing metabolism, blind and probably deaf, whose only real talent is using its sense of smell to get control of a teat.
Changed metabolism? Sort of. Kittens must be weaned onto something other than cat milk after about six or seven weeks. I am not a vet, but surely some changes in metabolism accompany this transition.
Changed food source? Yes! From mom cat to local rodents, birds, frogs, and eggs that can be cracked by being pushed off the branch or table. Or, if the cat is under human management, a science-based diet for growing felines. Or otherwise, scavenging a local dumpster. Or whatever an obligate carnivore* like the cat can stomach.
Okay, so where are we now? We have explained how a kitten gets transformed into … a cat.
And this is “evolution”?
[Image Credit: PTET]