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Showing posts from February, 2010

Natural Selections and Food Chains

I remember watching "Mutual of Omaha's 'Wild Kingdom'" as a child and how it all seemed so cruel and unfair. A lion would stalk an hours-old, baby of some variation of "deer" and when the parent was even the slightest bit inattentive, the lion would storm in and kill the animal, often under the helpless gaze of the parent. The fact that the prey was cute didn't help the matter. (Cuteness seems biologically designed to amplify sympathy.) Why didn't the film crew step in and stop it? How could they just allow such a brutal death? The reality, which I couldn't understand at the time, was that while one cute baby animal died, a few other cute animals (cubs of the lion) would be fed, along with mom. As an ironic bonus, the parent of the sacrificed animal wouldn't be passing such inattentive genes on to the next generation. Lessons about "survival of the fittest" and "natural selection" and "food chain" wouldn'…