Evolution in a Biological Context
Madness, I know. We've been thinking of evolution in so many other, more abstracted contexts, that I, at least, had kind of forgotten about biology. I've been watching nature documentaries this week, though, and aside from the narrator's worrying fascination with snakes, they've been pretty good. But the buzzwords that we spent many weeks debunking - progress, advancement, purpose - have been appearing in these documentaries every few minutes. It's interesting; the understanding of evolution that I now have (and take for granted) is completely absent from these movies. One I just watched described a crocodile as "advanced, even when it first appeared", and for a moment I thought the narrator was mocking himself, or something, because surely he knew that "advanced" implies an endpoint. Or when he described snakes as the "perfect predators", I was certain that he was just teasing the audience. I think that I've been living in a very specialized version the the Bryn Mawr Bubble - the EvoLit Bubble - and I had forgotten that our conception of evolution is not shared by everyone.