23 January 2014

Minute Physics tries their hand at biology, and flubs it

This is an odd video from Minute Physics.

First, they say that “evolution” is misused, and just means, “change” in anything, not just biological species. This is extremely odd, and I don’t know what purpose they are trying to serve making this claim. The horse is out of the barn on the use of the “evolution,” with no qualifiers, to mean “biological evolution.” Both the general public and working scientists use the word that way. Geologists and cosmologists don’t get all in a snoot that the Society for the Study of Evolution too their word and should be called the Society for the Study of Biological Evolution, just to be clear. Ditto the Society’s journal, called Evolution

Trying to say “evolution” just means “change” in this day and age is a little like trying to assert that “gay” just means “happy.” “Evolution ain't goin' back to mean “change” in general.

Second, they claim that when people talk about “evolution,” they really mean, “natural selection.” No, they don’t. Biological evolution is not synonymous with natural selection. Natural selection is the main mechanism driving biological evolution, but it isn't the only one. There’s drift, there’s neutral theory, there are environmentally driven mass extinctions, there’s epigenetics, and so on.

Minute Physics should stick to physics.

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