Misconceptions about evolution: why species, not individuals, evolve

Evolution Species Individuals Evolve Pokemon Charmander Charmeleon Charizard Pokemon Weekly Show

My first exposure to evolution came through Pokémon. I can recall watching in awe as a creature became enveloped in an aura and morphed into a new monster. It looked something like this:

As you and I both know, this is not how evolution works. Aside from a protein named after Pikachu (Pikachurin), Pokémon does not offer a faithful lesson in biology. While evolution has become required in most classrooms in the US and the rest of the world, many misconceptions about the most established fact in science abound. In this new segment I will address the most common of these misunderstanding. Have any questions of your own? Please suggest them in the comments or message me directly. Enjoy!

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Four weird things you did as a kid

Click here for Part II! Childhood. That blissful time when you could do whatever you wanted without scrutiny. You could run and play to your heart’s content free from the burden of responsibility. But do you know how strange some of your childhood pastimes were? Your parents smiled at behavior that would make other people scratch their heads in bewilderment. Here is a list of four weird things you did as a kid. Feel free to leave others in the comments section below.

Eat Play-Doh

Play-Doh. It’s every child’s favorite toy—and snack. This delicious clay satisfied hunger pangs at any time of the day. Early morning playtime? Maybe some blue dough will do the trick. Ten minutes to naptime? Why not make a dinosaur then sample your creation? Play-Doh serves kids’ budding artistic talent and desire to put everything in their mouths. The best part about the toy? It was originally sold as a wallpaper cleaner—that is, of course, until kids discovered its great taste.

“Could we get some more pink clay today? I’m going to need it for dessert.”

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10 strange things you never noticed about Pokémon Part II

Back by popular demand! (Click here for numbers 10-6!) If you grew up in the early 2000s, the phrase “Pika pii!!” likely fills your mind with nostalgia. Even so, through all those late nights hunched over the Gameboy Color, you may have missed some of the oddities of the Pokémon world. Below are five more rarely noticed peculiarities of the Pokémon games and TV show. Feel free to add things you’ve noticed in the comments section below.

Butterfree and Venomoth: switched at birth?

Even moderate Pokémon fans remember that Metapod evolves into Butterfree and Venonat into Venomoth.But could it be that two of the most basic Pokémon were swapped right before release? Take a look at the diagram below. Notice how Butterfree’s eyes, mouth, and antennae resemble Venonat’s. Venomoth’s eyes and form seem to follow from Metapod’s as well—the former’s forehead appears to fit into the ladder’s cocoon. To top it off, the suggested evolution lines follow similar color schemes. Did this just blow your mind?

Pokemon Venomoth Butterfree Switched Crazy

Now this…this is crazy.

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10 strange things you never noticed about Pokémon Part I

If you grew up in the early 2000s, the phrase “Pika pii!!” likely fills your mind with nostalgia. Even so, through all those late nights hunched over the Gameboy Color, you may have missed some of the oddities of the Pokémon world. Below is a list of five rarely noticed peculiarities of the Pokémon games and TV show. Feel free to add others in the comments section below. Click here for numbers 5-1!

Pokémon understand English

When watching the TV show, it seems only natural that Ash and his Pokémon can communicate.  The trainer and his Pokémon share a special bond. But these creatures are wild animals—how in the world do they understand human language? It’s not just a few basic commands either. Ash and Pikachu have heartfelt (though phonetically one-sided) conversations about Pikachu’s evolutionary preferences and what it means to persevere. Pokémon seem to be bilingual as well, as the series’ native language is Japanese. When was the last time you talked with one of the furry creatures on your lawn?

Pokemon, Ash, Pikachu, Anime, Games, Adventures, Strange, Things, Never, Noticed, Weekly, Show, Ratchet

“Pikachu is my best friend. He, the squirrel in the backyard, and I talk about things all the time.”

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