Evolution is the reason life is so wonderfully diverse and complex. From the water-bear to the blue whale, everything is related by a single thread of life. But perhaps the most fascinating thing is the sheer simplicity of evolution. For such complicated products, one would expect a complicated and convoluted process to create them all. But the sheer simplicity of evolution is, I think, one of its greatest marvels. It is nothing more than an algorithm; that random chance is passed through a non-random filter. The random chances, in the case of Darwinian evolution, stem from mutation. The mutations are put through the non-random filter of death by failure to reproduce. Differential reproductive success leads to more successes, which eventually reach a relatively stable point where the organism is almost perfectly well adapted to its environment, which then changes and starts the process over again. This interplay between creature and environment is perhaps the most amazing of all- the persistence --the stubbornness! --of life in an environment that is literally trying to destroy it, to stand it’s ground and, assuming it has lungs and vocal cords, howl at the sky in rebellion, to stand unwavering on the brink of oblivion. It is humbling and liberating to know that we are all cousins, all Africans, all descended from a single self-replicating molecule of protein, and that a phenomenon as simple as evolution is the reason we’re all here.