[Taxacom] Al Gore on evolution

Dan Lahr dlahr at ib.usp.br
Fri Feb 1 09:13:44 CST 2013

I would argue that we are simply taking a more active role in one aspect of
evolution, which is the generation of genetic variability.  We have
absolutely no control over genetic drift and other stochastic events which
are fundamental in evolutionary processes.

As much as I like Al Gore, it seems his understanding of evolution is
shallow at best, similar to most peopleĀ“s.


On Wed, Jan 30, 2013 at 1:05 AM, Ken Kinman <kinman at hotmail.com> wrote:

> Dear All,
>       I was listening to Al Gore this morning on The Today Show.  He said
> something to the effect that because of our ability to inject genes into
> organisms that we are now in "charge of evolution".  I suppose that could
> be said to some extent, not only because of our ability to inject new genes
> in some organisms, but various other reasons as well (such as breeding
> programs in zoos to preserve as much genetic diversity as possible in
> endangered species, in which we exercise a bit of control over what we have
> left).
>       However, much of what is still happening among fast evolving forms,
> especially among bacteria and viruses, seems to be out-pacing our efforts
> to control them.  We can still barely contend with new antibiotic-resistant
> microbes in developing countries, much less what what is happening in the
> third world.  With their vast numbers and ability to quickly evolve, seems
> like microbes will still be in charge for some time to come (much as they
> have always been).
>            ------------------Ken
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Daniel J. G. Lahr, PhD
Assist. Prof., Dept of Zoology,
Univ. of Sao Paulo, Brazil
+ 55 (11) 3091 0948

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