Under Construction

At I'm an atheist, but I've never found the evidence for evolution convincing. Why do scientists get so emotional? - Quora,
Alejandro Alcántara, creator of the show "Ecos del Universo" (Echoes of the Universe) responds:

Here are some very popular misconceptions:
a) Humans are the ideal state of evolution. - Nope. We are as evolved (biologically) as fungus are. Bats can echo-locate, some eels can produce electricity with their body, birds can fly... we can do none of those. Our specialty is thinking, which serves us well, but we are in no way further up any ladder. In fact, there is no "up".

b) Evolution is "improvement" - No, like the glass doesn't "improve" the water by shaping it into a glass shape. The water inevitably acquires that shape. Likewise, features of different species change accumulatively according to their pre-existing genes and the environment. Sometimes the feature that helps you have more babies is being weaker, smaller, slower, dumber...

c) Evolution is about survival of the meanest - It's not even about survival at all, it's about most prevalent genes. That can mean having more babies, having less but healthier babies, having babies only in one season, being sexier, sometimes even being more cowardly and surviving to have more mates.... Whatever means more of your genes in the future generation, makes you "fittest". And yes, in many many populations, empathy, fairness, collaboration and even heroism are traits that help them survive, and have more babies. Those are the fittest.

d) Evolution involves beings of one species being born from beings of another. - No, it's more like language in americans and englishmen. They share ancestors (well, some of them), but since their separation hundreds of years ago, both populations have accumulated different phrases, accents, etc. And now that they meet, they can tell they no longer have the same exact language. That's how different species are formed. They are always compatible within their own population, but separation makes them different from family members.

e) Changes arise because somehow beings "know" they have to have them. - No. Changes arise because mutations happen. Of all the changes that arise (randomly), the ones that help the species subsist go on, the others (majority) don't. Frequently, populations don't produce any good enough changes in time, and they go extinct.

f) "Species" are a hard barrier to break - There isn't even a definition of "species" that applies to most living beings on earth. The most used one today is "whatever you can have offspring with is your species". But many plants, bacteria, etc. (basically all non-sexual beings) escape that definition. In the genes, there is simply NO flag at all that says "this is a creature of this species". Your DNA is simply a recipe for making one of you.

And many more... but the most important one is:

x) Evolution informs us about morality - This is stupid. It can tell us how come we have an interest in morality, but morality itself is a matter that must be studied separately. Evolution is a scientific theory of Biology, NOT of ethics. You are an object. Do you fall on purpose because Gravity says all objects fall? You are made of chemicals. Do you react explosively with the opposite sex because Chemistry says chemicals react? Then why would you think "I must behave this way in order to evolve".

In other words: evolving biologically IS NOT a morally good thing. It has nothing to do with it. It's just a biological thing.

Evolution describes how living populations change over time, not how they ought to behave morally.

Misconceptions about evolution | berkeley.edu

last updated 26 Aug 2015