First, because most of these people are "conservative". And, second, because if they would just look around, they'd see a wonderful metaphor for evolution at work in one of their (typically) favorite things; weapons.
I thought about this again because of my son's current favorite on-line game "World of Tanks".
But they're all there, and you "buy" a tank or tanks and then you get tossed into battles where you drive around, shoot other people, and get shot. There's no infantry, or mines, or civilians, or politics, or messy wounds or deaths - it's WW2 in a pasteurized bottle, but it's big fun for nine years old.
VK-31 Leichttraktor for Germany, the Soviet MS-1, or the U.S. T1 "Cunningham".
But you get pitched into battles with much bigger tanks, everything from mid-war mediums to 1945 superheavies. The Boy spends a lot of time getting shot into Swiss cheese, at which time I remind him that there are two types of light tanks; ones that hang around after the Big Kids show up to play, and live ones.
Which brings me back to evolution.
Because typically we can't "see" things evolve. Natural selection requires environmental change to occur, and that usually occurs over millenia. A type of critter produces several genotypes, and then some change occurs - temperature, salinity, rainfall, vegetation - where one genotype is more successful than the others. But the replacement of one with another often takes lifetimes, typically many lifetimes, to complete.
But in the World of Tanks, the real world of tanks, we've seen a process that neatly duplicates what happens in the evolution of species through natural selection in a single long human lifespan.
The major nations typically went to war in the late Thirties or early Forties with a full suite of armored vehicles;
(The only exceptions I can think of were the Chinese, who flat-out couldn't afford anything more than a rag-tag and bobtail, and the Japanese, whose armored force was as crude and unsophisticated as the rest of Japanese tactical doctrine.
I should really do a post about them - Japanese armor truly sucked pipe, kind of shocking for a nation whose ambitions were so great...)Where are they now?
I'll tell you where; they're here, but the tank has evolved.
And the heavies were just that; too damn heavy. Too slow, too expensive, too few. I don't agree with the old Soviet saying about "quantity has a quality of it's own" but it was true that unless the terrain was ideal the combination of infantry, artillery, tac air, and medium tanks could winkle out a platoon or so of heavies with a little effort.
The light and heavy versions of the species a. tankus converged on the medium to produce the "main battle tank". This vehicle has roughly the speed of a WW2 medium tank (or better) with composite armor and the main cannon of roughly a WW2 heavy tank. The current U.S. M1A1 has a 120mm cannon; the German Panzerjäger Tiger Ausf. B mounted the 12.8 cm PaK 44 L/55. The armor of the Soviet T-80 is comparable to the late-WW2 IS models or the German superheavies.
Ground reconnaissance duties have now been delegated to other vehicles; light wheeled scout cars such as the U.S. M1126 Stryker or the Russian BRDM/BTR-types, or the tracked carriers such as the U.S. M3 CFV.
Even on the theatre scale the U.S. Army concluded after WW2 that reconnaissance and screening are the province of specialized units (armored cavalry regiments, or ACRs) but armed them with standard main battle tanks and infantry/cavalry carriers. Since the Third Gulf War in 1991 most of these ACRs have been converted to use the Stryker light wheeled AFVs.
Only the British insist that the light tank still has a place on the battlefield.
(Oh, and I should note here that the Poles weren't really that stupid; it's a military urban legend...)
For the rest of the world experience has concluded that using a small tank to scout is expensive and unproductive; it is too small to outfight an MBT and too slow to outrun one. Its light armor cannot withstand modern artillery or infantry antitank weaponry. A wheeled vehicle can do the job just as well, and it's loss can be afforded better. Sorry, scouts; it's just not worth training you up to be a tanker.
The natural selection of battle has not chosen the light tanker and his little tank.
So my poor little man and his light tank are trying to fight against not just larger and stronger tanks, but forces that mimic the incredible power of natural selection and species evolution.
No wonder it's such a hard fight.
But he has an excuse; he's nine years old. And we've talked about "evolution" and he's seen the simulacrum happening in the World of Tanks. I tell him; if the tanks were "intelligently designed" the M1 would have been invented in 1916.
Instead, the tank "evolved" as the world's tank designers responded to the natural selection of battle by altering the phenotype of the tank over the course of the 20th Century. The analogy isn't perfect, of course...but it makes the point; "species" can change, do change, as the result of natural selection, and end up resembling something very different from the starting point.
I wonder; what the flamin' hell is the excuse for the "conservatives" who don't "believe in evolution"..? Can't they SEE?
So, all together now:
(For those of you non-German speakers, that's the Panzerleid, the "Tank Song" of the German Army of WW2. Interestingly, for all that the modern Bundeswehr has discarded almost all the old Wehrmacht trappings, the Wiki entry says that the German tankers still sing this song.)
(And I want to tip my hat to commentor "gruff", whose cogent arguments regarding tanks and evolution caused me to revise this post)