(Mutation + Death) * Time = Elegance

Let loose some replicators, leave them to mutate and multiply for four billion years, and if you’re lucky you get a nice, complex biosphere. No magical sky pixies required. Evolution is so beautiful as a process not simply because it generates astounding forms of life, but because it has what physicists all crave in their equations: elegance. All that is required for evolution to work is a host of mutating replicators and lots of time… time to explore, blindly, the parameter space of Possible Ways of Not Being Dead.

In celebration of Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday, Nature magazine presents – and Wired Science summarizes nicely – twelve examples of elegance in evolution, including “missing links” in the history of whales, the first vertebrates to walk on land, feathered dinosaurs, moray eels with Alien-style jaws, and modern evolutionary changes witnessed by biologists in real time. If you need some nice examples of how evolution really works, perhaps for your idiot brother-in-law or his equivalent, these 12 examples are great jumping-off points into the oceans of data supporting the blatant reality of biological evolution on Earth.

nat3feathereddinoaImage: Ted Daeschler / Nature

Advertisements

~ by Planetologist on January 2, 2009.

2 Responses to “(Mutation + Death) * Time = Elegance”

  1. Dammit Johnson! Is this based off our conversation? Well, I like my sky pixies! Even though you are looking down on my sky pixie from your high atheist pedestal. Is it lonely up there, I wonder? 😛

    • Lol! No, I think I always talk that way… actually I believe I first heard that term used by Matt Dillahunty on The Atheist Experience podcast… Lonely? Nope, I’ve got all the smart people with me up here. 😀

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: