Darwinian code dating

This is a survival mechanism of sorts for humans, a Darwinian strategy in the psychological realm, to master daunting challenges with new behaviors.

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Ahead of his time is putting it moderately for Charles Darwin.

The father of evolution had conjectures that were only proved, or greatly substantiated, decades after his death in 1882, in some cases not until recently.

Although it doesn’t help an individual bird to survive, prodigious plumage suggests its owner is physically fitter, so the peahens find it more attractive.

We humans are no different, with various characteristics and behaviours, such as the classic chat-up line, that have evolved in the name of love.

Darwin was not content to say that organisms evolve.

The theory of evolution, he wrote, "even if well founded, would be unsatisfactory until it could be shown how the innumerable species inhabiting this world have been modified so as to acquire that perfection of structure and coadaptation that most justly excites our admiration" [italics added].

(Program not available for streaming.) Earth teems with a staggering variety of animals, including 9,000 kinds of birds, 28,000 types of fish, and more than 350,000 species of beetles.

What explains this explosion of living creatures—1.4 million different species discovered so far, with perhaps another 50 million to go?

Today, researchers using the genetic techniques of "evo devo" can trace the evolution of the various kinds of organisms that Darwin fit into his "tree of life" (here, from an 1837 notebook, his first such tree).

As the geneticist Theodosius Dobzhansky once wrote, "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution." Evolution happens through natural selection.

The source of life's endless forms was a profound mystery until Charles Darwin brought forth his revolutionary idea of natural selection.

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