On second look, I see I've misunderstood evolution as badly as my schoolgirl botch of Mendel. Education is wasted on those of school age. Now I find that evolution is not about competition or squeezing out, not a master plan of increasing efficiency. It is a deluge, a cascade of mistaken, tentative, branching, brocaded experiment, secrets seemingly dormant, shouted down from the past, wills and depositions hidden in the attic, how-to treasure maps reading "Tried this; it worked for a while; hang on to it," program-palimpsests reworked beyond recognition, churches renovated so often in a procession of styles that it's impossible to label them Romanesque, gothic, or baroque. It is about one instruction: "Make another similar something; insert this command; run; repeat." It is about the resultant runaway seed-spreading arabesques, unrelated except in all being variations on that theme. (p. 250)
this leaves me wondering: why didn't my bio teacher in 10th grade just read this passage to us? so much clearer and more accurate than "survival of the fittest," no? sigh.