Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Darwin, I Am Sorry

Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species in 1859, giving compelling evidence for evolution via natural selection.

From the first separation from the chimpanzee some five million years ago, to the attainment of anatomical modernity as homo sapiens some 200,000 years ago, we as a species have been culling the chaff and improving upon the gene pool.

(You know, if you ignore everything you see on reality TV.)

Those creatures that are too weak or stupid or uncoordinated get eaten or fall off cliffs or are the recipient of a post-mortem by definition Darwin Award.  In general, those creatures never have the chance to procreate.  (For the sake of my argument, I'm pretending Snooki doesn't exist.  Actually, for the sake of my life, I always pretend Snooki doesn't exist.)  Those creatures are the chaff.

But what about the wheat of the species?  We've created awe-inspiring art in all its forms, buildings that almost seem to defy the laws of physics (think of the Pyramids--and the entire city of Dubai), and The Internet.  We've been to the depths of the ocean floor, plumbed the recessed of the earth, and walked on the moon.  We've been pretty damn amazing, and it's sort of breathtaking to think that five million years of evolution has culminated in you or me specifically.

Well, maybe not me specifically.  After all, I did faceplant out of bed this morning in an epically flailing way.  Any moment now, I expect to fall down an open manhole and into the waiting maw of a sewer alligator or be hit by a runaway Segway or blow myself up using only a can of shaving cream and a banana.


(True:  Actually, reality TV in general--and Snooki and her progeny specifically--have me very concerned about the future of our species...)


  1. Well, well.. Looks like me right there!!

    1. Which one? A "chaff" like me? Or the knuckle-dragger, or the planker? (I assume you don't mean Snooki...)

      Nah, you're probably all wheat-y. :)

  2. Yup, it's sad but based on the criteria you mentioned I'd say we're probably doomed.

    1. Yep. I should really start stocking up on toilet paper and canned vegetables for my underground secret bunker.