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Name: RayeAnne
Status: educator
Age: 4-5
Location: ME
Country: N/A
Date: 10/28/2005


Question:
I have a Fourth Grade Gifted and Talented Student who wanted to know if there is a model of the projected evolution of either a shark, snake, human, frog, or eagle. Does any model exist for him to view? He is currently studying evolution and has created his own models but would like to compare his with possible models scientists have developed. Thank you.


Replies:
It is my strong personal opinion that "projecting" evolution implies a directional quality that evolution does not have. Evolution is a process of gradual adaptation to changing environmental conditions - many organisms have evolved increasing complexity as a result, but others have adapted by becoming less complex. It might be a useful exercise to speculate on future environmental conditions, and how a creature might evolove to adapt to those conditions, but I think it would be incorrect to call this "modeling." It would be purely speculation. Have some scientists proposed models for future evolution? Quite possible, but I am not aware of any.

J. Elliott


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