What Darwin Never Knew

Being highly skeptical on the evolutionary theory, there were a lot of believable points present in “What Darwin Never Knew” but it also raised too many unanswered questions that by this advanced time in life I’m amazed that we still do not know the answers.

I’d like to start off with the idea of us evolving from the fish Tiktaalik. The film seemed to try and give the idea that this fish eventually became human. I don’t think it’s impossible, nothing is, but I have a hard time believing we came from this particular fish(or any fish at all). The video explained how the fish evolved in such a ridiculous manner. They made it decide to walk on land because its aquatic habitat was being threatened. If this were the case, a lot more aquatic creatures today would be converting into land animals. Something else must have caused Tiktaalik to change and I believe it didn’t eventually change into a human but into something more along the lines of an alligator or large lizard. Something that would definitely convince me on the idea of a fish evolving into a human is a series of skeletons showing the exact process. Without that, well, I’m not entirely sold on the idea that we came from fish.

An interesting topic brought up in the film was on the Galapagos finches that had different beaks according to their environment. Their beaks had changed to adapt to the sort of food they consume. What bothered me was the lack of information on why exactly this happened or what the process was called. I did a little research on my own and came to the process of “adaptive radiation” or “an event in which a lineage rapidly diversifies, with the newly formed lineages evolving different adaptations. Different factors may trigger adaptive radiations, but each is a response to an opportunity.” Very interesting idea that I with the film had spent more time on. More about adaptive radiation here: http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/VIIB1aAdaptiveRadiation.shtml

Overall, the film happened to frustrate me more than anything. Some of the stories were interesting but they lacked evidence and a strong conclusion or one at all.  The last part of the film was just annoying. We get it, we have thumbs. So do other animals. Yes we’re smart, but if we’re so smart then why is the evolutionary theory still just a theory and nothing more? You would think we would have it figured out by now…

To conclude, here’s a few questions that I’ve been wondering about:
Why don’t we continue to evolve or are we but at an incredible slow pace?
Why aren’t people that live in harsher conditions able to adapt and evolve to their surroundings?
Are animals capable of controlling their “switches” and able to change when need be?
If we evolved from apes then why are their still apes? Why don’t we have thick fur?
Is the creation of a hybrid considered evolution? Is a new breed of dog evolution?
How does life begin? A.k.a. What came first the chicken or the egg?
Along the line of our evolutionary chain, what gave us our intelligence and large brain?

Kidding, but imagine if we could study a distant planet other than our own that can support life. We could observe how organisms eventually come into play and what changes them. Maybe then we would have some answers…

(image source: http://www.sodthe.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/ancient-aliens-guy-im-not-saying-its-aliens-but-its-aliens.jpg)


3 thoughts on “What Darwin Never Knew

  1. Hey Stephanie,

    I agree with what you are saying about the shear difficulties of figuring out just what makes evolution happen, and how we need to keep finding out more drivers behind its change. It’s good to be skeptical, and I think that this is what will make those drivers continue to come to light.

    However, evolution occurs so very slowly that it will always be hard to pinpoint the exact causes of diversity. But the fossils really do point at the environment as the most telling part. For me, this is what gives the theory more credence: animals survive where they are best adapted, and animals who don’t adapt evolve, go extinct, or find a better environment.

    I love the points you raised and I want to know the answers as well!

  2. I completely agree you. I believe it is possible for every creature to adapt to new changes based on their environment however, I think each species was created differently and within each specie is different sub-species. I think that the fact that every DNA is different makes every creature exactly that. Different, not the same or from the same being.

  3. Hi, Stephanie!
    These all sound like great points to me, and are things that I’ve wondered about myself. Having been raised in a Christian home, I was brought up believing the evolutionary theory was false, or extreme at the very least. This leads me to approach what I learn about evolution as theory rather than absolute fact, so that I can think things through and come to my own conclusions. I think this class will be great for us even though–and perhaps because–we have doubts. It’s always interesting to hear someone else’s perspective, what they believe and why they believe it, and in this day and age we have endless resources to check out that will help us figure things out for ourselves! We may be a bit overwhelmed, but I’m sure we’ll learn a lot.

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