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Being human makes for foolishness.

Cameron M. Smith

Volume 37.6, November/December 2013

Our difficulty accepting evolution isn’t just because some religions oppose it or that it is complicated—it isn’t. The problem may be a result of how our minds work.

Despite wide news coverage of evolution in recent years, and the fact that in January 2008 a leading science journal, Nature, declared evolution a fact, “Darwin’s Dangerous Idea” remains fundamentally misunderstood in the popular media. Even on otherwise great TV shows, like BBC’s Life, I’ve heard evolution misrepresented with scripting that propagates certain myths about the evolutionary process: in TV land, species struggle to climb the ladder of evolution to the pinnacle (occupied by humanity, of course); species live in ecosystems of perfect balance; living things are locked in combat for brute survival; and species are each nature’s “solution,” designed for a certain role in the great machinery of Nature.

A little bit of biology reveals that none of these misconceptions hold water, so how can as simple a process as evolution be so misrepresented? I don’t think it’s just a misunderstanding of how evolution works; tax form 1099 is more complicated than evolutionary principles. I don’t think it’s just because there are some common myths about how evolution works (though there are enough of these that I co-wrote a book—The Top Ten Myths About Evolution —to unveil them). And I don’t think it’s just a result of religiously based misinformation about evolution, though there’s plenty of that (and always will be).


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Replies to This Discussion

We always try to find patterns but sometimes there are not patterns to be found.  We should just enjoy being alive while we are alive and I don't mean hedonistically.  

Grouch, I most definitely would mean hedonistically.

The main reason of this is we see ourselves something above nature. Something like special and deserves a more complicated and elite explenation. Simply we can't be just animals sharering the same enviroment and the same fate ( evolutionally thinking) with other specieses. 

I think that is the most important point.

I agree with what you say! I will also add that when you come to terms that you are no different to the rest of the life forms that inhabit this world, you see them and yourself in a different light!

Yeah, a more humane light. =)

hakan, I'm late to this discussion but want to suggest that we avoid generalizing. Many of us do not see ourselves as above nature.


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