Evolution theory

‘Absurdly crude and misleading’: Why some scientists think the theory of evolution might need an update

Strange as it may seem, scientists still don’t know the answers to some of the most fundamental questions about the evolution of life on Earth. Take the eyes, for example. Where do they come from, exactly? The usual explanation of how we got these stupendously complex organs relies on the theory of natural selection.

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It’s the fundamental story of evolution, as told in countless textbooks and best-selling pop science books. The problem, according to a growing number of scientists, is that it is absurdly crude and misleading.

For one thing, it starts in the middle of the story, taking for granted the existence of light-sensitive cells, lenses, and irises, without explaining where they came from in the first place.

In 2014, eight scientists took up this challenge by publishing a article in the leading journal Nature which asked “Does the theory of evolution need rethinking?” Their response was, “Yes, urgently.”

Each of the authors hails from cutting-edge science subfields, from studying how organisms modify their environment to reduce the normal pressure of natural selection – think of beavers building dams – to new research showing that chemical changes added to DNA over our lifetimes can be passed on to our offspring. The authors called for a new understanding of evolution that could make way for such findings.

This is an excerpt. Read the original article here.