Scientist, please!

Exasperation with communicative foibles.

Plants evolved the ability to turn sunlight into energy.
Birds created the ability to fly.
Reptiles exceeded amphibians by inventing tough, water-proof skin.

These three statements are 100% false. Let’s scrutinise them!

The topic is genetic mutation resulting in various adaptations. There are uncountable mutations which have happened over the eons but did not facilitate a species to adapt. There are uncountable mutations which resulted in a species being more efficient or better skilled or more suitable to their environments. Notwithstanding meteor impact, climate change or volcanic cataclysm, of course. Species contain both types of mutations.

‘Evolution’ does not decide on what species acquires which ability. Creatures and plants do not sit about a table planning their next genetic adaptation. A bunch of frogs didn’t splash about and one day construct a great new skin for staying out of the water!

Evolution is the result of random genetic mutations. The mutations which contribute to a species’ ability, function, behaviour and social interactions are extensions of previous mutations which, themselves, are extensions of yet more ancient mutations. This is how we scientific humans may trace a lineage of species back through time. This is how we know that homo sapiens are related to chimpanzees, both of which are related to the origin of mammals in the Jurassic over 150 million years ago.

Plants have the genetic mutation of turning sunlight into energy.
Birds, in general, have the genetic mutations which allow flight.
Reptiles exceeded amphibians with the mutation for water-tight, tough skin.

The correct phraseology is less dramatic yet is accurate. It is us modern homo sapiens who uniquely have the ability to determine genetic mutations by choice. Our experiments have sometimes been clumsy due to ignorance, but we are not ignorant of the evolutionary process. The correct phraseology does not allow for anthropocentrism. Please put the ego down.