Does evolution ever get it wrong?

My answer to Does evolution ever get it wrong?

Answer by Vijayendra Mohanty:

In order to establish whether evolution ever gets it wrong, we have to understand what “right” means in this context, or if it means anything at all.

Evolution is a blind process whereby, aided by random genetic mutation and natural selection, species either continue to survive or die out. The number of species which die out as a result of not being able to cope with their surroundings is way larger than the number of species which do.

If survival is the criteria by which we are to define “right”, then it is safe to say that evolution gets it wrong more times than it gets it right.

However, evolution does not have a direction. It has no end goal. It does not seek to create a species or end one. Evolution is simply something that happens. For some reason — genetic mutation and natural selection perhaps — we have come to be in the enviable position of getting to watch this storm in action.

And a storm is exactly what evolution is — unthinking and unreasonable. You and I are leaves in the wind.

Does evolution ever get it wrong?