Natural Selection

Question1. Answers

Root-Bernstein cites several evidences to his student to support the biological evidence of evolution. He starts with examination of homologies, the body parts that come from the same embryological parts but with different functions like a human's hand and a bat's wing or a whale's flipper. He further gives the use of analogies which concerns body parts with different developmental origins but perform same functions such as the insects and birds' wings. He continues to give an example of the evidence of transitional forms which entails a series of modifications and started from the four- toed Huracotherium and has ended with the modern horse which has only one toe. He gives the student an explanation for divergent evolution. He also argues that the living things change through a period of time citing an example of the broadening and fusing of the reptile ribs to become the back of a tortoise through a geologic time. For evidence purposes, he proposes that if a skeleton is turned, one can easily get a glimpse of how the shell evolved. For convergent evolution, he cites where mutations lead to similar outcomes as displayed by various ant eaters such as silky ant eaters, pangolins and spiny ant eaters. This convergent evolution is an evidence of natural selection as they all eat ants irrespective of their different origins. Root-Bernstein uses vestigial traits as evidence and he gives examples of animals' left over parts that are presently dysfunctional.

Question2. Answer

The hardest part is to convince the students that evolution and religion can be supported by the number of ribs. He cites both the bible and the evolution theories. According to him, the bible does not give the number of ribs that Adam had during creation as well as the exact number of the ribs. Root-Bernstein tells his student that by God taking one rib from Adam does not make men have a one rib less otherwise this could affect not only boys but all the children if at all it happened. This inference was from the bible teachings on Sunday school. Through this argument, the student reasons both like a student as well as in religion. The student on counting the number of ribs of the different skeletons realizes that they are just equal, a fact that was also verified by other students. The counting of the ribs gave the students a correct answer on the number of the ribs of human beings. Further, he supports evolution by giving the different pair of ribs between him and his mother as an example. He says that although he has twelve pairs of ribs, his own mother has thirteen and also a 5300 year old man who was discovered in the Alps had only 11 pairs. This shows that the evolution process is taken place as the number of ribs may differ; this is what supports evolution.

Question3. Answer

The Lamarckian evolution theory was all wrong. Lamarck came up with a hypothesis that proposed that organisms inherited traits that were acquired by their parents. Accordingly, the new traits are passed to their off springs. This has been proved all wrong. For Wallace and Darwin, they observed that some organisms are born with some variations which in turn enable the members of the species have an advantage to struggle and survive in a certain environment. Then, the organisms reproduce and pass the traits to the off springs that may have slightly different characteristics and the variation process continuous over time as the new species acquire the new traits. The difference with Lamarck from Darwin's baseline shows that the organisms do not chose traits since they are born with or without an advantage.


We learn that although not easily understood, evolution theory compliments creation theory. All that were created have evolved through time and will keep on changing to adapt to the environment as the best that can adapt will survive.

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