Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Evolution for Dummies

Every so often one of our members expresses a thought on evolution as a given. A simple thought that just happens to be stated without much background. 

For all the intelligent people here, it is such a given that they don't spend much time on it. You are so into the subject that you know all the details, details that excite you, but details that will possibly bore all the non-science people out there as well. 

Yet those simple thoughts are the ones that I think will bring the non-science oriented around. 

When you think of evolution deniers, the first thing that comes to mind are the uneducated or the religious; which, for the most part, could very well be the same thing. Not all atheists are science minded either, and some concepts go way over their heads as well, only because of their backgrounds. 

So what to do?

Concentrate on the simple, the common sense arguments. I think Adriana mentioned, as a quick aside once, about testing done on animals. Why do we test on animals? Because we share genetic backgrounds. For her, or others that are very much into the science, this is a minor point possibly, but to the uneducated, a simple thought to grasp; maybe even the start of an enlightening concept.

It was the same for me reading Dawkins' "The Greatest Show on Earth." He understands that you have to capture a thought in simple enough terms for laymen to interpret. For this dummy, I never thought about the similarity of skeletal structure until reading his simple explanation. The way he explained the data almost anyone could understand. Especially when he goes on about horses actually running on their fingertips; how they have the same structure as all of us except they evolved to run and their fingers are welded to the hoof. Bats expanding their wings using five digits was another easily understood example of the commonality of all animals.

Another fascinating thought for the science impaired like myself, was the article posted here about hiccups and how it is genetically equivalent to what a fish uses to breathe. (And yes, correct all my bumblings and errors).

Then there's the simple visual that connects us with our ancestors, the way a fetus forms in the womb. Starting with eyes on the side of the head, and a palate that joins much in the same way as our ancestors.

These are probably all basic thoughts that most here are very aware of. Probably so basic as to not earn more than a passing thought. To an evolution denier though, the simple thoughts may be the ones that introduces him to the fact that evolution is.

No comments:

Post a Comment