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Friday, November 13, 2009

Where do we come from? Where are we going?

This is the runner-up in Discover magazine's "Evolution in Two Minutes" contest. It was selected by PZ Myers [The Winner: Evolution in Two Minutes].

I seem to be one of the few people who think this is a horrible way to teach the public about evolution. I guess that's why I'm a curmudgeon.

I think we can do much better. I think we should do better.


  1. Could you expand a bit on why this is a bad video?

  2. Larry,

    As we discussed yesterday, the best critique of these videos is to point out that they only deal with one process that contributes to evolution, namely natural selection, or more precisely positive selection.

  3. Any creationist can see no new organism apeared, merely short-necked ones were weeded out.

    As gould often complained, this merely negative seelction is not how darwin proposed that natural selection gaver origin to new adpatations, which will always be seen as a cumulative process of gradual phenotypic transformation.

    People just don't know Darwin.

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  5. The funny thing is that even considering Darwin's actual proposal about selection, it is more ideological than factual. Selection is important in evolutionary processes and is part of the explanation of adaptation, but does not single handedly direct evolution nor explain every step in the evolutionary processes. Truth is, you muts look into the organismal, physiologicla nad developmental processes. This cannot be bypased by any "two minute" theory like natural selection (a single paragraph theory, in fact, as in Darwin's "origin")