03 August 2010

My Evolving Comprehension of Charles Darwin Through the Natural Selection of Information

Diversification within Misinformed Opinions Evolving to Facts

It is of particular note how, over time, a person or idea may become a general summation--even distorted due to the passing of the information by insufficient transfer. Let's say as, the insufficient transfer of a rumor, that only expands into extreme hyperbole as it is repeated from ear to thirsty ear. So may it be that through this rushed migration, that hurries forth without fully gathering all its facts; basing ideas on impressions based on impressions--it is conceivably possible that the truth has been somewhat diluted.

I have drawn the threshold of evolutionary argument with certain individuals and whenever Darwin was brought up--he is simply summed up as the guy who said we came from monkeys. Mind you these arguments weren't the most intellectual. This is an over-simplification of the idea of Evolution that would successfully make the notion accessible to 1st graders. Perhaps it was the fact that Evolution was not fully delved into during my schooling that left us with the premature and only perspective we were proposed during our simpler youths. Coincidentally I was raised Catholic, or was attempted to be brought up Catholic by weekend Catholics. And though not one single word was ever spoken by my parents against Darwin or Evolution, I saw it elsewhere. "Humans came from monkeys"-- An entire book about species; subtle differences and similarities, about Natural Selection which collects evidence and gives life an interpretation in terms of how its come to survive--all this is summed up as, "humans came from monkeys." Darwin had might as well just wrote that line and repeated it for 200 pages.

Today I watched Creation, a film about Charles Darwin during his work on Origins. More specifically, the film is about his conflict with being a creationist while working on his theory of natural selection. Also, while reading The Mating mind by Geoffrey Miller, I came across a passage where he parked on Darwin for a moment and explained the 19th Century naturalist's contribution to sexual selection. So, in the past few days much information has been introduced to me that seeks to correct the impressions of Darwin, erroneously suggested to me from childhood.

I have never read Origins of Species or The Descent of Man. With my current attraction to the subject of evolution and human behavior one would've thought that these milestone contributions to that very subject would be the obvious starting points. However, I feel Darwin would appreciate my backward journey, following threads into the past, discovering through them, variations of forms, arriving at conceptual errors that went extinct, in contrast to successful adaptations that deemed fit for survival. Because since the time of its release, Origin of Species has branched out into many species of its original idea, creating for the book a lead role in an example of what it sets out to explain.

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