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Evolution and Revolution

cr88's picture

 I'm going to admit straight off the bat that I skipped class on Thursday to attend the Teach-In about the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia that was taking place at the same time. While feeling guilty about this fact and simultaneously watching news coverage of and Skyping with people taking part in the events in Cairo, however, I got to thinking about the evolutionary paradigm as it applied to the revolutions taking place in the Arab world. Much of the language used to describe the path these revolutions have taken has been organic, with words such as "spread" and "grown" used to describe the way in which the events in one state have had a ripple effect throughout the neighborhood. This got me thinking about how these events could relate back to evolution and natural selection. In a sense, the revolutions, particularly those in Egypt and Tunisia that have subsequently resulted in regime change, are a testament to the usefulness of the evolutionary paradigm outside an explicitly biological context as well as to the dangers to an entity of not evolving when evolutionary pressures are acting upon it. By not responding to the demands of their "environments" (in this case, the basic needs of their citizens), these "organisms" (the governments of these two states) have become "extinct"; their stagnation led to their downfall. Perhaps this is why the word "revolution is 90% "evolution"?

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