Carl Sagan's evolution animation from Cosmos

I found my favorite bit from Carl Sagan's Cosmos on YouTube today - eight minutes of Sagan speaking over animation demonstrating 4 billion years of evolution. It's such a simple presentation and it does so much to reinforce the wonder and majesty of evolution on earth. I admire Sagan most for his infectious excitement about science. This little clip from his masterpiece Cosmos is a particularly good example of Sagan sharing one of the universe's many secrets with us and loving it. YouTube.

Sagan was a fricken genius.

you know, in my opinion, evolution is far more grand, beautiful, and elegant than "intelligent design".
I hope that this thread doesn't turn into a huge fundamentalist-flame-fest.
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Quote, "During the summeer, some lakes and swamps dried up, so some fish developed a primitive lung to breathe air until the rains came." Those must have been some special fish, because every fish I have seen dies in a few minutes without water. I know...they died and then came back to life once the rains came. Over millions of years, they bacame very tired of dying and coming back to life, so it just made sense to develope a lung... and maybe reverse scuba gear for that pesky transistional period.
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You don't have to take the "leap of faith" into evolution to find proof that fish developed lungs, Peach. All you have to do is examine the lung fish.
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The only part of the whole chain that boggles my mind is the development of sexual reproduction. how? why? All other elements make perfect sense - have no doubt, I am 100% on the side of evolution, that one little bit just blows my mind.
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Great question, Ben!

I always make the mistake of working from the assumption that evolution worked FOR or TOWARDS a given step when what in fact we should view evolutionary changes as random events that succeeded.

What is the evolutionary step up that sexual reproduction created? Is it the fact that it was a new, powerful means to cause big changes to a given species' DNA above and beyond what happens in mutation or errors in copying DNA during asexual reproduction?

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It could be suggested that perhaps sexual reproduction helps to form relationship bonds between the two parties, thusly leading to parental nurturing.

Surely the offspring of certain species in certain habitats were able to more easily survive under the care of its two parents versus what would have been the normal asexual reproduction method...

Just a quick thought.
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