That little guy is an Italian wall lizard that was introduced to a small island off the coast of Croatia in the early ’70s. Since then, he and his wall lizard brethren have undergone “rapid physical changes that would normally take millions of years,” including new digestive structures and a stronger bite, thanks to a larger, elongated head. Duncan Irschick, a scientist studying the lizards, compared their evolution to “humans evolving and growing a new appendix in several hundred years.”
Which leads me to my point — this study is merely the latest in a long, long line of evolutionary proofs, and yet we’re still arguing for the inclusion of evolution in our science curriculum. We have people like Ben Stein, who is using his position of celebrity to actively attack the scientific community, with his only intention being to further muddle the public’s understanding of the difference between fact and fiction. To put it bluntly, this shit is fucked up. The fact that the education of America’s youth is being decided by people who don’t understand the definition of a scientific theory is nauseating. It’s akin to someone denying earth’s spherical nature because they themselves haven’t viewed it from space. Direct observation simply isn’t an available method for long-term theories, such as evolution. Why don’t we throw out plate tectonics, relativity, and dinosaurs while we’re at it?
I’m sorry, I didn’t really intend to rant when I began this post, but I am constantly confused and saddened by the bullheadedness demonstrated by certain sects of America. Growing up in Arkansas, I’m probably exposed to their idiocy more often than my coast-dwelling counterparts, and as a result I have long since given up debating the topic. It’s not worth the headache. Anyway, lizards are bad-ass, huh? (lizard via National Geographic.)