Last year (7,654 A.D.) I was at a conference and I became aware of a new area of research. The topic being researched is the phenomenon of a certain subspecies called Uberchumradoxius* which is now extinct, but has been of great interest lately in the scientific community. Two opposing camps with diametrically opposed views as to the development of Uberchumradoxius have risen in the scientific community.
One camp hypothesizes that the subspecies evolved naturally amongst the general population. They theorize that the earliest forms of Uberchumradoxius had just slight deviations from regular specimen. With time these were accentuated by natural selection and continued mutations, which were favored due to the peculiar environment that was the habitat of Uberchumradoxius.
The opposing camp ridicules this theory, pointing out the anti-natural nature of the subspecies, its hazardous tendencies towards itself and its habitat, behaviors that would absolutely preclude the selection of this subspecies even in very controlled environments. If natural selection was running its course, this latter camp claims, the first even slightly deviant specimen with tendencies resembling anything similar to Uberchumradoxius would probably not have survived into adulthood to procreate, and any offspring thereof would have certainly died in infancy. So destructive to its own survival are the behaviors of Uberchumradoxius. This is an accepted fact, and no one in the scientific community doubts the long-term repercussions to itself that the behavior of Uberchumradoxius ultimately poses.
The former camp maintains though, that in the short-term there were benefits to being a Uberchumradoxius as opposed to a normal specimen, given the peculiar environment of Uberchumradoxius. The latter camp disagrees with this vehemently, stating unequivocally that no benefits favored by natural selection can be found in the behaviors of Uberchumradoxius. So how does this camp account for the prolonged existence of Uberchumradoxius? They claim that the only possible cause could be something called "Intelligent Design". What they mean by this peculiar term is that some force with intelligence, favored the development of Uberchumradoxius. This force was able to steer Uberchumradoxius through the otherwise swift end it would have met at the hands of natural selection. The subspecies was able to produce viable offspring with even more accentuated traits that are the hallmark of Uberchumradoxius. As of yet, no satisfactory explanation has been given as to the nature and motives of this force. Speculations range from extraterrestrial experiments, to others who claim some type of long-term benefit for the general species, which learned to avoid tendencies exhibited by Uberchumradoxius because of its relatively quick demise. This camp admits that none of their speculations are sane, but they claim being forced into them by the absolute improbability of natural selection favoring Uberchumradoxius under any circumstances.
That's a synopsis of the scholarship on the topic to date.
Upcoming in the series:
Arguments pro and con presented by both sides, and snippets of conversation I overheard between proponents of the differing views at the conference.
*Origin: German Uber - above, more; Chumra is an obscure word from the now dead Aramaic, here a connotation of extreme; Latin doxius - a derivation from dox - belief, opinion