In Pokémon Go, you ‘evolve’ into your Pokémon into stronger creatures using Stardust and Candy: Pikachu evolves into Raichu and Zubat into Golbat etc. Substitute the word ‘Stardust’ for ‘natural selection’ and ‘Candy’ for ‘genetic mutation’ and you’re pretty much working along the lines of modern evolutionary synthesis. But what if it isn’t that straightforward? The question I’m asking here is, what would Darwin have made of Evee?
Evee, the super cute rabbity Pokémon, can evolve into either Vaporeon, Jolteon or Flareon. Madness! Madness comparable, however, to one (widely debunked) hypothesis on human evolution: Aquatic Ape Theory. The idea is that when most primates were hanging about in trees or evolving into early homonids, a separate strand evolved to live in the sea – meaning there were also pods of fishy apes flapping about the oceans.
If you prefer something with less CGI, here are some maybe slightly less speculative sources:
- LANGDON, J. H. (1997). Umbrella hypotheses and parsimony in human evolution: a critique of the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis. Journal of Human Evolution. 33, 479-494.
- MORGAN, E. (1997). The aquatic ape hypothesis. London, Souvenir Press.
- PARKER, S., & ROBERTS, A. M. (2015). Evolution: the whole story.
- ROEDE, M. (1991). The aquatic ape: fact or fiction? : the first scientific evaluation of a controversial theory of human evolution. London, Souvenir Press.