Meanwhile back at the swamp...
Do you sometimes get frustrated if it feels you're not suited to adapt to the world we live in, if things are changing too fast to keep up? Don't feel left behind.
I suspect we are all a product the world we grew up in. A long time ago the world was creeping along at a casual pace...first came fire, then a few thousand years later, the wheel...and all of a sudden...wham, technology did a pole vault over us. Some of the more primitive life forms of the human species got left behind wallowing in the primordial goo.
No wonder some of us feel like a neo-neanderthal of the Fred Flintstone variety living in a George Jetson world.
Evolution has always been throwing us a curve. Maybe we need for a refresher for those who fail to appreciate the difficulties of evolving solely by random chance.
Somewhere w-a-a-a-a-y back in the past in a steamy prehistoric swamp; we listen in on the following conversation in progress; Two amobea are wriggling around...
"I hate random chance. It's been like a gazllion years since we wallowed out of that primordial soup. I was just a simple blob of protoplasm and now look at me."
"Oh, shut up! You do realize you're just a sack of goo flopping along in some cytoplasm with a cell membrane and no internal skeleton. (frustrated pause) Is it asking too much to have a little skeletal structure here (angst with voice raised)?!!"
"Whoa there, Blob! Take it down a notch. Look at your cousin Drool, he's still a prokaryote."
"Oh. I guess you're right. I'm sorry. I'm just frustrated. (silence - impatient sigh) Is it asking too much for some intelligent thought to steer things along?"
"Blob, we've already had this discussion. No. the rules clearly state no intelligent design is allowed."
"No intelligent design?"
"Just random chance?"
"Sigh. This is going to take millions of years, isn't it?"
A funny thing happened to me on the way to the future...
Of course, there are some who simply defy categorization. Take the platypus for example, an an egg-laying, duck-billed mammal that just can't make up it's mind which way it wants to go!
"Bird...mammal...bird...mammal??? Which way do we want to evolve?" Which way do we go from here?!!
Those stupid platypuses held up evolution several thousand years while they tried to make up their minds.
Someone brute from behind gets irritated. "Hurry up and pick one!"
It's the dinosaurs complaining again. The dinosaurs were always complaining because they always got stuck in the slow line at the evolutionary supermarket, waiting their turn to evolve forward. They were stuck this time behind the platypuses who could never make up their minds...which may be why they went extinct? This makes so much more sense than the asteroid theory since I too often get stuck in line frequently at Wal-mart!
Finally they have to call in an Darwinian Director of Random Disorder, who finally throws up his hands in exasperation; "Ok, fine! You can still be mammals and lay eggs ...just go!"
There goes the neighborhood...
Then came primitive Man...
Narrator: Rumor has it man is evolving, presumably in a forward direction from the basic common state. I myself remain skeptical in the face of evident proof to the contrary.
...and then came man...walking upright from his simian progenitors who were always confused.
"So are we Cro-magnons or is it Neanderthals?"
And that one annoying smart guy in the group that no one else liked had to butt in on the conversation;
"Neither, he says, pushing up his thick-rimmed nerdy glasses on the ridge of his nose with one finger. "We've been recently re-categorized as Anatomically Modern Humans."
"What?!! Suddenly the whole group is enraged.
"We've been Neanderthals for decades …just look at all the textbooks!"
The cave-dwellers haven't been this disgruntled since several were laid off as cave men extras for prehistorical re-enactments on the Discovery channel...not to mention the Geiko Insurance guys.
"So easy a cave man can do it!"
"Um, yeah. we find that...demeaning but some guys will do anything to get on TV."
Bickering erupts between the Cro-magnons and the Neandethals.
"Sigh. Theres' never an anthropologist around when you need one!"
"An anthropologist you ninny. Someone that studys the origin of man. haven't you ever read a textbook?"
"Book?" -furrowed thick brow crinkles.
"Oh, never mind". -frustrated- "No wonder this is going to take 30,000 years and an ice age before we can get anywhere."
Man seems to hit his share of snags along the way
Take fire, for instance. Here we find primitve man staring at two sticks with a perplexed look, perpetually furrowed brow looking at the instructions...
"Take stick A and place against stick B...rub together rapidly...aaaarrrgghh! I hate technology! Why does everything have to be so complicated!" -exasperated- Holding up the instructions he rants, "This would be so much easier if I could read!"
Of course, I had to interpret for you since Thrag's vocabulary is limited to a few unintelligible grunts, monosyllabic words, and some wildly exaggerated gesticulations.
See! It's not just modern man that has difficulty with technology
Why does technology have to be so...complicated?
Now we fast forward to the future...
"And that kids, that is why your daddy can't figure out how to work his iPad."
There goes progress!
And now back to the stone age. It's that annoying smart guy again. Why did we have to evolve nerds?
"Don't get too optimistic about the future," he says, "after 35,000 years of forward progress somebody gets bored and invented television. then we get 24 hour Cartoon Network, video games, ESPN, and Cable TV, and then it's back to the Stone Ages for all of us."
'Thrag' here just learned to communicate without exaggerated gesticulations and monosyllabic grunts and snorts. Thrag grunts excitedly with wildly exggerated hand motions.
"Ugh! What 'gesticulate' mean?"
"It means to use your hands and arms in an expressive manner to assist in communicating."
Suddenly he stares at something. "Ugh! What that!!?"
"Oh, her? Don't mind her...it's just some kind of anachronistic throwback to antiquity." "It' looks like a one-legged monkey with some skeletal deformities?"
"Sort of...I know this sounds crazy but I think we may be related...on my momma's side."
Well, then ...your momma must have been ug-leee!"
Now we have affectionately named her as our matriarchal predecessor. We call her...Lucy."
"Are you sure we're related?!!
Meanwhile, two stegosaurus' have been watching quietly. One shakes his head in disgust, the other turns and says, "Humans?!! These guys will never make it."
© 2012 Jim Henderson