Thread: Ask a Scientist
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Old 03.11.2020, 23:34
Theoslimm Theoslimm is offline
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Ignoring the fact that human intervention is kind of "unnatural" selection, it still follows a normal pattern. Most fruits evolved similarly - because they encourage animals to distribute the plant's seeds, helping with reproduction success.
For me this is the heart of the question (or indeed the lettuce): how is 'unnatural' defined?
In addition to environmental factors, evolution frequently stems from the influence of one species on another (my hummingbird's beak is longer than yours, so there). Taking this view, a successful rose, wheat type, milk cow, dog breed or lettuce is natural evolution.
OR is it only considered "unnatural" if the species propagating the successful genetic change is doing this in 'planned', 'mindful' way? Or maybe it's only unnatural if you mess about with the gene directly in the lab rather than by encouraging a couple of different flowers to smooch? Given that we tend to think humans are the only species special enough to be this consciously manipulative, then pretty much everything we've touched since the first domestication of animals is just a freak show.

Maybe lettuce move to another question...
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