Something that occurred to me the other day: if natural selection and chance variables in genes from generation to generation is the main engine of change, then shouldn’t animals that reproduce most rapidly show the most accelerated evolution? That is, shouldn’t, say, the rabbits of today be markedly different from the rabbits of a thousand years ago? I am fairly certain there are potential developments that would render rabbits better able to survive and breed in their environment, so shouldn’t we be seeing continual changes in that kind of species from one century to the next?
The real question raised by the tarantula hawk’s practice of paralyzing and laying its eggs into a tarantula before burying it is this; how does it know what a tarantula is, if it was born in the dark, underground, inside the thing? How does it know to go after the tarantula, sting it, bury it, etc.?
And the really startling metaphysical conclusion is this; the wasp enters the world already equipped with knowledge. The ‘blank slate’ conception of the mind is thus disproved by observation.