Monday, July 9, 2018

Your Inner Fish

Ever thought you were descended from fish? Whoa! Is that better or worse than the idea that you might be descended from apes? Actually, humans aren't descended from either. 

As Prosanta Chakrabarty explains in his TED talk, "Four Billion Years of Evolution in Six Minutes,"

"Knowing you're a fish and not a monkey is actually really important to understanding where we came from." 

He says, About three billion years ago, multicellularity evolved. This includes your fungi and your plants and your animals. The first animals to develop a backbone were fishes. So technically, all vertebrates are fishes, so technically, you and I are fish. So don't say I didn't warn you."

He also talks about how some of the ways we have come to think of "the theory of evolution" have hampered our understanding of the way life evolved, and the way (and the reasons) humans evolved; which has led to hilarious arguments between evolutionists and directed design believers.

I love his conclusion:

Think of life as being this book, an unfinished book for sure. We're just seeing the last few pages of each chapter. If you look out on the eight million species that we share this planet with, think of them all being four billion years of evolution. They're all the product of that. Think of us all as young leaves on this ancient and gigantic tree of life, all of us connected by invisible branches not just to each other, but to our extinct relatives and our evolutionary ancestors. As a biologist, I'm still trying to learn, with others, how everyone's related to each other, who is related to whom.

Here's the transcript of the TED talk. I couldn't find this talk on YouTube, which is why I didn't put a link to it here. To compensate, here's another talk by Prosanta Chakrabarty, on, you guessed it, fish. It's fascinating, well worth the short time it takes to watch. Enjoy!

1 comment:

Jeff Wynn said...

I liked that part that we are all leaves on the outside surface of a gigantic tree - all related.