Click here to see the article by Richard entitled Ban the voice-over.
I'm thrilled to rediscover my hero Dawkins joking once again about why ancestral giraffes magically developed long necks for the simple reason that they "needed" such long necks in order to reach up for leaves. I believe that many ordinary people, not familiar with evolution and genetics, would believe in that "need"... but I hope I'm mistaken.
A long-discredited alternative to Darwinism invoked ‘need’ as the driver of evolution: ancestral giraffes needed to reach high foliage and their energetic striving to do so somehow called longer necks into existence. But for ‘need’ to translate itself into action, there has to be another step in the argument. The ancestral giraffe mightily stretched its neck upwards and so the bones and muscles lengthened and . . . well, you know the rest, O my Best Beloved. The true Darwinian mechanism, of course, is that those individual giraffes that succeeded in satisfying the need survived to pass on their genetic tendency to do so.