Reality Blind - Vol. 1

Evolution by (natural) Selection

“The alternative to thinking in evolutionary terms is not to think at all.” — Sir Peter Medawar, 1960 Nobel Laureate in immunology.

Summary: Imagine shaking a box of Raisin Bran left to right. The longer you shake it, the more raisins will fall to the bottom of the box. The smaller and more spherical raisins get there first, followed by the larger spherical raisins, followed by the large irregular raisins, and finally the small partly mashed weird-shaped raisins that the Raisin Bran people get bargain rates on because they're weird- looking. This raisin “fitness race” is determined by size, density, relative sphericity, surface wrinkles, and

microscopic texture that enable van der Waals force and friction, as well as the specific shape and size context of the exact assemblage of rodent excreta, bug legs, and whatever else found its way into the bran-flake machine. You’ve just simulated evolution. "Fitter” raisins were “selected” to get to the bottom of the box, while other raisins were left lagging behind. This illustrates that both the concept of “fitness” and “selection” are labels we apply to a natural process devoid of any actual goal.


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