Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Non Darwinian Dandelions

Ever notice how easy it is to pull up the "off lawn" dandelions? The ones growing in the woods, beyond the reach of the mower, shoot up tall and strong. Grasp them by the leaves and tug and up they come root and all. Whereas the lawn living survivors of the mower grow low and hug the ground. The root never comes up, the leaves pull off and you know that feller will be there next spring.
Kinda like Kipling's story How the Elephant Got his Trunk. Remember the elephant's child had an close encounter with a crocodile who pulled and pulled and stretched the elephant child's nose out into a trunk. The dandelions get whacked and whacked by the mower and react by growing lower.
Cute stories. But Darwin doesn't work that way. "Acquired characteristics cannot be inherited." Evolution happens when less successful organisms die before they can reproduce, and the fitter organisms survive and breed.
Tell that to those dandelions.

3 comments:

Karen said...

Well, you are clearly a driving force of micro-evolution in your lawn: the only ones that survive in that hostile environment are the ones that you can't pull up. Thus those are the only ones that survive to make pretty dandelion seeds.

Dstarr said...

Driving force? I merely alter the fitness of things, making grass more fit than dandelions.

Dstarr said...

Driving force? I merely alter the fitness of things, making grass more fit than dandelions.