Evolution is not the first thing anybody familiar with me from my online activity would associate with me normally. Yet, it’s at the root of what’s in my head right now. I got one of those odd little bolts of lightning through my skull earlier today, and thought about a half-remembered Joe Rogan bit. It wasn’t a joke, per se, but rather, a segment from one of his many fascinating podcast episodes where he was talking to an evolutionary biologist. The biologist’s name, unfortunately, escapes me right now, but that’s not the point. What I found myself thinking of earlier was the scientist in question saying that one of the most common and frustrating things he’d dealt with over the years when talking to creationists was dealing with the question of ‘Well, if we’re descended from chimps, why are both species still on the planet? How does evolution explain that?’
So Rogan asks, “Well, isn’t it that we share common ancestry, not so much as we’re directly from chimps?” To which the biologist responds in the affirmative, that evolution researchers don’t claim we’re directly from chimps, but that we share a common ancestor species somewhere along the line. Curious, I did a little digging. Sure enough, this is an immensely popular tool to pull out of the bag for creationists.
‘They don’t behave the same way, so how can we be evolved from them,’ they ask. Allow me to respond in what I can guarantee some people will find an offensive manner.
We’re not the same species, correct. Nobody’s currently saying we are. We descended from a shared source along very different paths. The same thing can be said of dogs and modern wolves, okay? Similar form and function, but very, very different results. You try to tickle a chimp, that fucker will bite your face in half, rip your goddamned arms off and start playing your torso like a bongo drum, all right? Humans, we giggle and try to smack your hands away until we convulse to the point of nearly throwing up.
You can share a common ancestor and be a very different animal is what I’m trying to say, all right? Christ, look at the difference between a timber wolf and a chihuahua. They’re descended from the same progenitor species, they’re both canines. One’s smart, cunning, powerful, and could bite through a grown man’s throat in the blink of an eye; the other trembles worse than a spastic at a laser light show and shits in your purse. That doesn’t mean they weren’t descended from a common bloodline, okay?
Evolution is a process by which nature figures things out, all right? Over a long, long time, by using trial and error and tricking us via neurochemistry to decide who the right person to fuck is to produce survivable children, we end up with very different examples of the same species. The hope is that we’ll eventually generate a crop of humans that excel at all challenges and in all environments; the truth is, for every fantastic thinker and well-maintained physical specimen in the world like Chuck Ladell, we get a dozen Snookies. They’re not all going to be ideal for the next go-around.