I and a diverse group of people got a question in email, one that we are supposed to answer in a single sentence. The question is,
What is evolution?
You know, Ernst Mayr wrote a whole book to answer that question on a simple level, and I’m supposed to have the hubris to answer that in one sentence? OK, knowing full well that it is grossly inadequate, here’s my short answer:
Evolution is a well-confirmed process of biological change that produces diversity and coherent functionality by a variety of natural mechanisms.
Go ahead, you people try to answer it in one sentence in the comments. It’s harder than it looks, especially since I feel the itch to expand each word into a lecture.
By the way, when I say this question was sent to a diverse group of people, I mean a diverse group of people. One of them was the author of this book, and another was from this site, and you can imagine what their answers were. (Sorry, they were sent out with some expectation of confidentiality, so I can’t tell you them. Maybe they’ll notice all the traffic to their websites and share it with us.)