Evolution - is it all wet?
july 24, 2000. Big Science just mapped the Human
Genome. Next, they subdivide it and start selling it to
you. Hitch up the horses, boys! It's the Oklahoma Gland
Big Science takes Big Money, but you
can do interesting experiments using simple scientific
tools like ethyl alcohol, bar napkins and crisp
twenties. Let's do one on evolution.
Take a bar napkin. Draw a box on it.
Now think outside that box. If you were evolution, what
would you do? That's right. Have a drink. Now look at
that drink. You think you're drinking bourbon, but to
the cross-trained eye of a Scientist, that drink is
almost all water. And so are you. You are 98 percent
water. The other 2 percent is made up of trace elements,
bohemian tendencies and unworthy motives.
Life on Earth began off the coast of
North Dakota 15 or 27 billion years ago. All living
things are 98 percent sea water and a little sludge. How
did water think up the idea of being you and bourbon?
The answer is evolution.
Can water think? Think about that.
Don't use your box. You're 98 percent water and you're
thinking about water thinking. You are Thinking Water.
And that's not the booze talking. Isn't Science fun?
Have another drink.
We think water thinks because of
Darwin's Theory of Natural Elections. Charles Darwin was
the son of a Presbyterian minister and an orangutan. He
was a typical Englishman. As a boy he climbed trees. His
father wanted him to go into the Church, but Darwin
thought it was too dark and smelly. He joined the
Industrial Evolution instead.
He dreamed of finding a way to fry
water. Darwin thought if he could fry water, people
wouldn't have to boil it and there would be more steam
left over for steam engines and the Industrial Evolution
could go faster. He said if people ate fried water, they
wouldn't need food anymore. Charles Darwin was out of
Darwin experimented for years, ruining
hundreds of pans. One night he fell asleep after eating
some calamari. A Giant Squid appeared to him in a dream
and fed him the formula for fried water, page by page.
It was delicious!
Charles Darwin had a photographic
memory at a time when you had to stand still to have
your picture taken. After he woke up, he copied the
formula and invited his friends for dinner. But it
turned out to be a big practical joke on the Squid's
part and Darwin was very embarrassed. He sold his pans
and sailed to the Pollywogalapagos Islands.
One day he put a seashell to his ear
and didn't hear the ocean. He thought he'd gone deaf.
Then he looked inside the seashell and found a pad with
the Theory of Natural Elections on it and a note from
the Giant Squid that said, "Sorry about the
practical joke. Try this one."
Charles Darwin was crazy but he wasn't
stupid. He threw away the seashell and made up his own
Theory of Natural Elections. This is the Theory of
Darwinian Evolution. It explains how a man who couldn't
even fry water evolved into the most important
scientific figure of the nineteenth century.
When he returned to England, Darwin
rented a gorilla suit and began giving lectures on his
Theory. Huge crowds came to hear him speak and feed him
peanuts. In 1859 Darwin published his Theory in a book
he called Beyond Fried Water, My Struggle For Truth. It
sold seventeen copies. For the second edition Darwin
changed the title to 1001 Ways To Market Your Business
In The Telegraph Economy. It became a best seller and
Charles Darwin evolved into a household verb.
But not without opposition. The
Archbishop of Canterbury was a religious funny mentalist
who opposed the Theory of Natural Elections because it
wasn't in the Bible and neither was Charles Darwin or
the Giant Squid. He said people could return Darwin's
book for credit or they could go to hell. Darwin
challenged the Archbishop to a debate. Science versus
Religion, stiff upper lip, jolly good, that sort of
thing. But from force of habit the Archbishop, as the
injured party, chose pistols at dawn, twenty paces.
The Archbishop shot first, but he was
downwind and Darwin's gorilla suit spooked him. His
bullet went wide. Darwin felt honor was satisfied, so he
fired a warning shot into the Archbishop's chest,
killing him instantly. This proved the Theory of Natural
Elections and automatically made Charles Darwin the next
Archbishop of Canterbury.
In order to avoid a clerical error,
the Bishop's Club invoked the Cold Boy Network and Queen
Victoria granted Darwin a cask of bar napkins and
imprisoned him in an ivory tower. Darwin spent the rest
of his life in seclusion, attempting to fry water and
living on calamari. He died in 1882 from indigestion and
It was Darwin's brother Fred inside
the gorilla suit after 1864. Fred's son Frank took over
in 1895 and successfully toured the music halls for
years until the gorilla suit was called up for service
in the First World War and melted down for cannon
fodder. Unfortunately, Frank Darwin was still in it.
Natural Elections again.
That looks like Last Call for
evolution. Drink up everybody, and don't forget to take
some bar napkins for your experiments!