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ttruong's picture

Can we measure evolution?

It is so difficult to know whether a species is more or less successful in the evolutionary process. For some reason I really want there to be a scale to judge this. What criterias should be used to decide the success rate of a species. Should it be population count, number differing abilities, complexity in genetic/molecular makeup? Perhaps once we decide on what qualities is most important in deciding success, we can estimate what direction evolution tends to go towards.

Though evolution is very convincing, there is still one thing that befuddles me about it. When we examine the numerous accomplishments of humans and compare that to those of other species, we can't help but feel that we are perhaps affected by evolution in a different way--that evolution accelerated within our species. I can't logically pinpoint why I feel like we are slightly above the normal evolution rules or less dictated by the direction (whatever that may be) that evolution is inclined to take, but I just feel that we are different somehow. Maybe this is just all in the head. Maybe its too uncomfortable to accept that I am simply a random profuct of a much larger project, that i was never intended but just here because im here.

 -Trinh

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