Explaining Adaptation

It is commonly observed that one doesn’t need to be a mechanical engineer to drive a car, a biochemist to prepare food, a mathematician to do monthly budgeting; yet we are able to execute afore-mentioned tasks on a routine basis, which may otherwise be considerably complex, with efficiency and skill.  Even before advances were made in sciences, we, humans, had a way of going about mundance activities.  Our means may have changed but we have always been quite capable of accomplishing our goals.

The question is how have we been able to carry out tasks that sustain our existence?  A short answer might be that we acquire expertise and skill.  Interestingly, no one is a born driver or a born cook.  An infant doesn’t know what is edible and what is inedible; he/she does not even know how to speak.  After a finite amount of time, effort and interactions with the environment, we are able to acquire skill and expertise in performing our day to day tasks.  We don’t execute these tasks perfectly even on a routine basis.  We err and try to minimise our mistakes.  Sometimes our environment changes, and the ways we used to perform our routine tasks no longer work.  We change our ways according to the new environment and start functioning.

This is called Adaptation and it’s essential to our progress & survival as an individual and as a species.

 

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