During a trip to the grocer yesterday, I had a chance to watch as several grackles made their way across the parking lot. While this is a normal activity and can be seen on a regular basis, it got me thinking about adaptation. The birds, many nesting in the areas around the grocer, had stopped eating seeds and bugs, digging for grubs in soft soil, and gathering water from rain and dew. Now, they scavenged through dropped crumbs, searched trashcans for scraps, and drank the water dripping from cars condensation.
Most environmentalists and nature lovers would say that this is a tragedy. I am not sure one way or another. What it got me thinking about was the way nature adapted to the world around it. Evolution is a change in the species brought on by the survival of the most viable. Some would say strongest but viable comes more to the point. Adaptation though is when a species (humans included) change behavior or social patterns in response to the environment around them.
Weeds growing between the cracks in asphalt…birds scavenging through trash…humans wearing parkas…all of these things are expressions of adaptation. There is an old expression “That which does not kill me makes me stronger.” Many take this as needs be to proclaim the dominance of the strong and unyielding over the weak. This is not the case. Nature yields, bends, and adapts to the world around it.