Monday, August 9, 2010

Birds, bats drive fig evolution

CBC News - Technology & Science - Birds, bats drive fig evolution

Imagine your steak making sure it's cooked the way you like it or your ice cream sundae adding the toppings you like. It's that undercurrent of implied agency that makes stories like these popular reads-and often gives people a mistaken idea about natural selection.

That's why it was neat to read this article by CBC (Canada's public broadcaster) that for the most part avoids all of the agency-esque language and clearly shows that being tasty, combined with a reproduction method that relies on being consumed, results in "tasty traits" becoming the norm.

More stories and explanations like this that catch the interest (between a love for fig newtons and an interest in bats and birds, who can resist at least taking a peek at it?) and provide clear and correct explanations of how selection functions will help those reluctant to embrace evolution feel more comfortable to at least dip a toe in the gene pool.

Kudos to the CBC.

(For those wanting the actual study, start here)

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