The Evolution of Eyeglasses

I’ve been reading about the history of glasses today, and I came across the most interesting article on the use of bifocals in the animal world.

…and change, they did. Probably for the best.

It’s kind of surprising to me that eyeglasses are nearly 800 years old in the West. Invented sometime in the 13th century, they’ve become a necessary part of life for many of us in the computer age. Interestingly enough, before their invention, the use of reading stones was fairly common in the Middle Ages (I guess before these came along you just squinted). Not much happened between the invention of glasses aside from significant improvements in optics and changes in style until Benjamin Franklin came along.

Continue reading “The Evolution of Eyeglasses”

Sensory Drive and the Predictability of Natural Selection

I have been getting into a number of non-sense argumentative spats with people who otherwise will never change their mind about the process of natural selection, and I thought I might try and clear things up in long-form for my followers who might be confused.

One of the main criticisms of natural selection is that despite numerous observations that certain traits benefiting the fitness of individuals move into fixation in populations, it is impossible to predict which traits will do so. This is a main criticism by strict neutralists who usually respond to biologists’ real world examples of natural selection beautifully predicting functional traits by moving the goalpost deep into epistemological grounds. For this blogpost, I’m just going to run through three examples of natural selection being both predictable and real, and then after that I will permanently stop engaging with these actors online.

Continue reading “Sensory Drive and the Predictability of Natural Selection”