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Evolution for drunk people

From U.C. Berkeley’s Understanding Evolution site:

Biological evolution, simply put, is descent with modification. This definition encompasses small-scale evolution (changes in gene frequency in a population from one generation to the next) and large-scale evolution (the descent of different species from a common ancestor over many generations).

I had a drunken hot tub conversation the other night about evolution. It was the kind of discussion that would probably have been a lot more interesting if it had started much earlier, but it was still fun trying to hang on to a train of thought.

People get funny about evolution. Some people will claim that it doesn’t happen, but they will freely accept that, for example, we each get a random mix of traits from our parents. Given this premise, it’s impossible for populations not to evolve. People will be different, and those who thrive better will pass on their traits to more children so that their genetic legacy will have a stronger influence on the future population than those who are less successful. You really can’t have sexual reproduction without evolution. Read the rest of this entry

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