When media get hold of the term “evolved” …
|July 30, 2013||Posted by News under Evolution, Media, News|
Up-to-the-eon reporting is sure to follow.
Laszlo Bencze notes the way the word “evolved” is used in pop media, for example in this story about a French tourist whose body was eaten by Pyrenees vultures within 45 to 50 minutes of their arriving at the point at which she had fallen to her death. According to a police officer at the scene, “There were only bones, clothes and shoes left.”
The tragedy focused attention on a growing problem with vultures.
Apparently, the vultures are facing a food shortage because new EU rules prevent farmers from leaving dead livestock out in the fields. Enterprising vultures are solving the problem by eating live livestock instead. The article helpfully explains,
The vultures, which have evolved to eat carrion and not tackle live prey, may have changed their habits due to starvation.
Well, if they “de-evolved” after only a few years of carcass shortages, to the point where they are spreading fear in the land according to reports, one wonders whether they ever really “evolved” to eat carcasses, as opposed to just preferring them. Presumably, carcasses don’t squeal a lot and thus don’t attract nearly as much attention.
Anyway, Laszlo asks,
Wouldn’t it have been more straightforward to say,
“Vultures typically eat carrion not live prey; however, their habits may have changed due to starvation.”
But then of course we would be lacking yet one more meaningless accolade to evolution.
I’m looking for the day when a typical small town news story might read:
“Yesterday at 1:00 am a burglary suspect who had evolved to take things that do not belong to him was accosted by the store owner, who was evolved to exact personal justice. A scuffle ensued until the store owner’s dog which had evolved to love and protect his master began biting the burglary suspect according to its evolutionary programming. This Darwinian scenario continued until two highly evolved policemen in a squad car arrived and applied natural selection to the suspect.”
Should we or shouldn’t we tell Laszlo that the journalism faculty at his state university has just spent millions on a new Evolutionary Reporting Center?
After this, the only thing slower than the police in a nearly bankrupt city nearby will be the Darwinian reporting on the crime.