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Natural Selection Isn't So Simple

For somebody who lives outside the rat-race, a big part of their job is becoming interested in various things, on a daily basis.  On a recent bike ride, I almost laughed at a couple wild turkeys that we frightened.  They sounded like broken helicopters trying to take off.  But they were able to get to a branch in a nearby tree.

Still, you have to wonder: how does such a big slow heavy bird find enough food in a monoculture of bark and needles?  Can they sit on that tree branch, evading coyotes, for hours or mere minutes?  They can't migrate south in the winter, so how do they survive?

Maybe someday I will learn more biology.  But it is so easy to say that.  Every now and then I will attempt to brush up on a subject by running to Wikipedia, and then seldom last more than one paragraph.  

That's the trouble with "book larnin'."  The interesting stuff is diluted with an ocean of jargon or dry technicalities.  It never seems to pertain to the observation or question that sent you there in the first place.  What a profound difference there is between pushing information and pulling on it!

Creatures like those wild turkeys make it hard to believe in natural selection.  My grade-schoolish notions of biological evolution are often confused.

Another example comes from watching You Tube videos, believe it or not.  Consider young women who make videos on mundane topics.  They have such appealing personas.  Physical appearance is just a part of that.  Lively, giggly, flirty.  Put them in front of a camera and they positively glow and sparkle, apparently without any training or effort.   

If I tried to make a video like theirs, it would be so flat.  It's as if these young women are a form of wildlife that has evolved over 2.3 million years to thrive in a certain niche in the digital ecosystem. 

And yet, smartphone videos have only been around for 15 years!