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The Science of Man of Steel: The Good, The Bad, and The Iffy

The Bad: "Evolution Always Wins" *facepalm*

If Kryptonians are so smart, how come Faora doesn't understand what evolution is? Her painful "observation" that Superman's morality gives the Kryptonians an evolutionary advantage made us want to naturally select her off the screen. First of all, clearly the Kryptonians do have moralitycertainly Jor-El does, but even Zod himself has a moral compass! His altruism only extends to certain bloodlines, but that charge can be made for many humans too. Secondly, evolutionary psychologists think morality arose out of our dependence on maintaining strong social systems for survival. You know, those systems that built modern civilization! Of course morality is an adaptive advantagethere is no collaboration without it, and great feats can not be accomplished without widespread cooperation.

Third, and most devastatingly: what does she mean "evolution always wins?" Wins what? The game of how dumb you are, Faora? If you think evolution has some kind of grand eschatology to it, then you should take a long hard look at an angler fish, or a platypus, or another animal that defies explanation with its weirdness. Evolution is not a zero-sum game, it's simply the result of organisms that survive passing their traits to the next generation. Fitness could mean infinite different things: flight, great camouflage, attractive petals, and yes, strong social bonding. Faora's view simply gives people who equate Darwin's ideas with the repugnant "Social Darwinism" philosophy validation, which is the last thing this species needs. Go back to Krypton, you big dummy. Oh wait, I forgot: you can't. You exploded it. Nice work, "superior" species.

Tags: movies, science, slideshows, superman, man of steel

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Becky Ferreira

Becky Ferreira is a writer, performer, and raptor based in New York.

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