It slays me that anyone in this century would actually say there’s no such thing as evolution. Have you not seen butterflies? Have you not seen plants? Have you not seen horses and dogs? These are all living creatures which have literally undergone evolution in this lifetime. You have to purposely live in a metaphorical cave to insist that evolution is a figment of scientific imagination. And I don’t know how to talk to you, if that’s seriously what you believe.
Let’s define the term evolution to ensure we’re talking about the same thing (Zeus bless the dictionary!) — I’ve combined various definitions of evolution into similar groupings as follows:
1.any process of formation or growth; development, or a product of such development; a process of gradual, peaceful, progressive change; a pattern formed by a series of movements or something similar; a continuing process of change from one state, condition, or form to another.
— Well, this isn’t exactly the definition I’m going with for the purposes of this piece. After all, this definition of evolution can be used with regard to conversation, or business, or a fucking novel. Not exactly the scientific argument that fundamental Christians are pissed about when discussing the change of organic beings. I mean, shit changes. I’m pretty sure we can all agree to THAT, or else we have a much more serious problem than anything a dictionary can solve.
2.the act of throwing off, as heat, gas, vapor, etc.; an algebraic operation in which the root of a number, expression, variable, etc., is raised to a specified power.
— I have to be honest (when am I anything else?). I hadn’t ever heard of evolution in these terms. Makes sense, given what I already know of the word, but I don’t typically think along this line of definition when considering evolution. I’m only including it here in order to be thorough. Do with it as you will.
3.change in the gene pool of a population from generation to generation by such process as mutation, natural section, and genetic drift; a gradual change in the characteristics of a population of animals or plants over successive generations; accounts for the origin of existing species from ancestors unlike them; the theory that groups of organisms change with passage of time, so that descendants differ morphologically and physiologically from their ancestors.
— Ah, there it is. There’s the biological definition of evolution we’ve all come to love and hate. Gene pool shifts. Plants and animals that no longer resemble those from whom they sprang over long periods of time. Yes, that is definitely the source of agitation among our addle-minded Christian brethren.
I’m interrupting myself here to say with annoyance that YES, I know this article will fall upon deaf ears. YES, I know I’m likely preaching to the choir. YES, I know that there is no way to convince smug Christians that they might not be scientifically educated, or for that matter, even elementary school educated since most of this shit can be learned by fifth grade. YES. I know all this. I’m going to say it anyway. And I’m not even sorry for it.
What I’m NOT going to do is argue about whether or not humans have evolved over time. Unless I was actually there, no one is going to be convinced anyway, because we humans are stubborn in sticking to first-person anecdotes. And even then we like to beat over the head anyone who dares to say, “I saw this shit happen with my own eyes.”
For example, if I try and tell you that humans are much taller now than they used to be a couple hundred years ago, that will mean nothing to stalwart anti-evolutionists because it’s nothing we can see happening right before our collective eyeballs. Never mind that houses from that era have doors and ceilings which would cause my hubz, 6’2” in height, to bend like a giant should he choose to enter the premises. Let’s overlook the fact that he’d never fit into a suit of armor because most of them are at least a foot too short. Yeah, that’s obviously just bad planning on the part of our great-great-etc. grandparents. Because on top of being shorter than we are today, they must have been pretty damn stupid, too. Right? (whatever.)
Instead, let’s talk about butterflies. Those exist today. We have butterflies in our backyard. I’d call it a garden, or a wild-nature habitat, but more accurately it’s a weed-infested tract of rock and grass that is overgrown with shrubbery gone crazy, a berry bush of some nature that is almost choked out by honeysuckle, and some crazy wild flowers that keep coming back every summer. We think it’s kind of cool, and takes a lot less work than actually trimming shit back and mowing every weekend, but the village tends to disagree when the growth reaches certain heights. Regardless, this stuff is great in attracting butterflies. You HAVE seen butterflies, RIGHT? You DO agree they exist? Please say yes.
How about the Peppered Moth Butterflies of London? Yeah, I haven’t seen them myself, either, given that I live in the U.S. of A. as opposed to Europe where I truly belong. But if you live in London, or have visited London, you know what I’m talking about. Turns out they used to be somewhat colorful. But they aren’t any more. Wanna know why? Evolution.
See, creatures like to kind of blend into their backgrounds, and prior to the Industrial Revolution — prior to air pollution and smog and all that yucky stuff that poisons the air — the trees in that area were somewhat colorful as well. Then the smoke and crap killed off the pretty bits of foliage, leaving only grey — maybe fifty shades of it, but all grey nonetheless. Which left the pretty, colorful butterflies sticking out like sore thumbs, so they could more easily be picked off by predators. Meaning? The grey ones survived and multiplied. And that’s all we see today. The grey ones. Evolution.
That’s how these kinds of things work. It wasn’t one that turned into another. It was a bunch that managed to survive. Evolution is what happens when life works out. Which is why I always laugh when people say, “I didn’t come from a monkey!” HAHAHA. First, no one is saying you did, ass. Nobody “came” from monkeys. That’s not what evolution says. Although if you think that, you kind of ARE a monkey. Which is an insult to simians everywhere. I’m sorry, monkeys.
Second, you survived. Your parents survived. Their parents survived. The human race, against all better judgment, survived. Just like those butterflies. You don’t look any more like your ancestors than the grey butterflies in London look like their ancestors. Similar, yes. But not exact. Because we change. And what works best, survives and multiplies.
A couple more examples — this time from EXTREMELY modern day. Since none of us were around during the Industrial Revolution and therefore I could be completely lying about those stupid butterflies.
If you have ever bought plants, you have probably purchased hybrids. These are new species which never existed before humans mashed them together. And now they keep surviving and multiplying. Evolution.
Dogs and cats — and if you live in America, you have seen both — don’t be a lying douche-nugget and deny this just to try and thwart me here. You have totally seen dogs and cats. The modern day house pets are nothing like their wild counterparts. And guess how they got all tame? Evolution. We humans like to help things along, don’t we? Or in the case of the butterflies, steal their beauty. We humans suck like that. It’s merely a convenient comfort that denying the actuality of evolution also allows us to deny our hand in fucking around with nature. But every time you pet your sweet critter, take it outside to do business, change a litter box, feed it a nibblet… you are enjoying a product of evolution.
How do you like that, monkey?
Throughout the money of August 2012, my dear friend Aaron @dadblunders and I are doing a dry run of the Blogging From A to Z Challenge. This past April was my first official participation in such activity, and I had no idea what I was doing. No theme, no forethought, purely spur-of-the-moment. This time around, I have a plan. Join the fun!
For this event, I am engaging in a month of controversy. Consider yourself forewarned.