I usually say "platypuses" but whenever I do people call me out and say it's wrong (even though it's not) so ironically, I went with "platypi" to avoid the thread-jack.Sam the Centipede wrote:Not quite correct, but your underlying point - that natural selection does not include a predictive element - is spot on.maydijo wrote:Animals evolve only until they don't have to evolve any longer to fit into their environment.There have been plenty of "what if?" debates about the importance of the presence of our moon in the evolution and maintenance of the Earth as it is. It apparently does have a useful stabilizing effect (iirc) and it makes tides, which are definitely handy for things that live in inter-tidal zones. But exactly covering the Sun in an eclipse is mere happenstance.maydijo wrote:Why is the moon the perfect size when seen from earth to cover up the sun? I'm sure there's a very good scientific argument for it, probably having to do with it's the perfect size to rotate around the earth without affecting the gravitational pull, or something like that. To just say, "Wow! God!" is to miss out on half the fun.
As the exquisitely wacky platypus has worked itself into a thread about eclipses, I must protest that its wonderful electric senses have not been mentioned, another feature (with egg-laying, poisonous spurs and generally crayzeeenesss) that make it a zoological delight.
Oh, and do Aussies really say "platypi" as a catachrestic* plural? It should be either "platypuses", which follows the English language's rules for regular formation of plurals, or "platypodes", if one wishes to respect the latinized Greek etymology. "Platypi":
* yes, I know, quite self-referential, eh?
I have heard (from an actual, real scientist, but it was on the radio, a couple of years ago, so I can't remember his name) that if the moon wasn't there, the earth would cease to exist. And I believe there is a real, scientific reason why the moon is the size it is (but again I don't have a source - I think it came from this same conversation and had to do with the way the moon was formed?) As for it covering the sun, that's largely a matter of perspective isn't it? As in, it depends where you are on the surface of the earth?
EDIT: I should clarify. I can't remember if it was that the earth would cease to exist without the moon, or if it was that life on earth would cease to exist without the moon. I think (???) that it was that the earth itself would cease to exist - that the moon has a stabilising effect on the rotation of the earth around the sun and that the orbit would be all out of whack without the moon - but I'm half-remembering a conversation I was half-paying attention to 2 or 3 years ago, so it might just be that life on earth would cease to exist.