Wednesday, October 8, 2014

My Year of Darwin 10/8/2014:To evolve a mile take a first step

 Charles Darwin

"Natural selection can act only by the preservation and accumulation of infinitesimally small inherited modifications, each profitable to the preserved being..." Charles Darwin, Origin of Species 1st edition (on Kindle)

Evolution works in mysterious ways. Not really.  I don't have much to say about this. I don't know why he limits natural selection to "small" modifications until that fit into his genetic ideas. 

Ran/walked 2 miles. Payoff (I have to see something while I run... because just getting in shape isn't worth it) was a female Cooper's Hawk cruising up over the levee and through Kirby Park about a meter above the ground. This set the half dozen squirrels into a complete panic but she didn't set on any. I suspect the local falcon pair was making her nervous. 

I usually see a Bald Eagle about once a week at school this time of the year. This year: nada!  Might be that none of the lakes up north are froze over yet. Not sure. Makes running really boring though. 


  1. Is this one of the points on which we can say that the last century and a half of science proves him wrong? Shuffle the nucleotides in a different manner and you get measurably (as opposed to infinitesimally) deeper or shallower or longer or shorter or wider or narrower beaks - on very short time scales as established by the work of the Grants.

    FYI - ice in up here in NH is a November or December event, although the local Bald Eagles continue to hang out and scavenge.


  3. Yea, I think work on developmental genes shows that evolution can work much faster. He had a very nebulous idea of genetics and I'm betting that was why, for whatever reason, he insisted on infinitesimally small changes only. Odd though.

    I should check out Hawk Mountain's records for this year and see if this is just me - likely since I seem to be spending less and less time away from the computer.