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In the movie Evolution alien cells evolve at a rapid rate. My question is, why did the aliens eventually come to a blue ape-like creature? With the many variations of creature none looked like mammals, so how could it arrive to simian creatures?

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I'd always imagined it that the evolution alien ecosystem was a pre-programmed thing rather than random mutation and selection – HorusKol Jul 29 '14 at 23:18
up vote 14 down vote accepted

The movie's creators (knowingly or not) fell prey to a misconception about evolution that there are higher forms of life that are being evolved towards or that evolution always works towards 'better' versions of creatures.

So, for them, an intelligent and highly evolved creature would look ape-like or human. And consequently each earlier 'level' of evolution would mirror Earth's history.

What they failed to grasp, of course, is that Earth's current state is a more-or-less random event. Any acceptable solution to selection pressure is valid. There is no one path and creatures in the wild are as likely to evolve to be less complex as they are to become more complex. Sometimes complexity or more intelligence was a benefit and sometimes it wasn't. Sometimes the solution to trees become sparse (one of the major selection pressures that lead to humanity) was simply to become faster, bigger, stronger, camouflaged or to become a burrowing creature. Or conversely to become smaller, slower and able to live a whole life in one tree.

Intelligence just happened to be what happened to the apes that became us. Clubs were selected for instead of strong arms.

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+1, And they fell to the misconception that evolution tends to create more dangerous and deadly creatures at each iteration. Survival of the strongest instead of the fittest. <sarcasm>Because evolution will never create anything like a mayfly or a barnacle...</sarcasm> – rodrigo Jul 29 '14 at 21:20
@rodrigo - who's to say that alien mayflies and barnacles were not being "evolved" - it's just that a movie about barnacles wouldn't be terribly exciting as they threateningly cling to whatever tidal rock they can get to... – HorusKol Jul 29 '14 at 23:16
@HorusKol that might be a better movie than Sharknado 2 *throw money* – Memor-X Jul 30 '14 at 5:19
"... God has extraordinary fondness for beetles" – DVK-in-exile Jul 30 '14 at 16:29

The film's director, Ivan Reitman addressed this point in an interview in 2001. The essence of the film is that in response to the evolutionary pressures on Earth, the aliens followed much the same evolutionary patterns as humanity, except at a vastly accelerated rate.

Why did you stop the evolution with the blue monkey? Were there any more ideas developed in the script?

We in fact tried to go further in the screenplay. For a while we had a creature that was very much human-like. And it wasn't very interesting. So we skipped that and went to the story as we have it, which is that because of what the army did, there was an evolutionary response that created this very large creature, and we ran for the ending. It was a more satisfying conclusion.


Is Evolution based on any serious scientific theory?

There is a theory that is very popular called panspermia. Which is very much what this movie is based on. Which is that, perhaps 4 billion years ago, some meteor fell that contained some spores or some germs that evolved over to everything that is living today on this planet.

The film's star, David Duchovny also offered some insight into the fact that the evolution seen in the film is running parallel to Earth's.

"I also liked the effects. There's a real imaginative array of creatures, from single-celled amoeba to worms to fish to rodents to lower primates to upper primates. There's not one gray alien - it's sort of a parallel evolution to what we've had on this planet. I found that to be pretty interesting.

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Well that mirrors real world evolution as well. Look far enough back and you'll find some really weird ancestors for all of us. The first mammals were more like rodents than the simians of today. A bit farther back mammal ancestors were distinctly lizard-like. Even further back and you find fish-like ancestors, and so on and so forth until you reach single celled organisms.

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It was just to show how evolution works from single celled organisms to animals to intelligent life. Audience prefer to see and expect to see apes gain intelligence and move into some other humanoid lifeforms. in sci-fi an intelligent slug like creature is meh. ape like creatures also lead to hands that have the ability to create. If you believe in evolution on earth all of it started from 1 common single celled organism, into some fish, amphibious type creature, eventually moving into land animals- lizards birds, into land mammals. But still 1 originating form of life that turned into everything else through deviation of billions of years.

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We don't really know if there was 1 originating form of life or not, nor if new forms don't emerge all the time around the Earth. (Any new form quite possibly would simply be eaten by a nearby older form fairly quickly. Maybe it happened in your back yard tonight.) We're relatively sure that our DNA contains many viral segments that have incorporated over the ages. Other forms might have originated and simply merged way, way back when, leaving a single stronger combined line. We'll probably never know. Maybe Archaea, Bacteria and Eukaryota have varying sets of original forms. – user2338816 Jul 30 '14 at 10:09

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