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    Archive for February, 2007

    Humans, the greatest thing since… uh… well…

    Thursday, February 1st, 2007

    Don’t get me started on “Intelligent Design.”

    I’ll just say one thing and then leave it alone:

    If there were an “intelligent” designer for these things we call bodies, don’t you think he/she/it would have made it a bit easier to scratch the middle of your back? Or to find a woman’s g-spot? What was the “intelligence” that went into hair that grows out of your ears?

    Anyway, I may come back to that later, but what’s been interesting to me about the whole “ID” thing (and it’s not a debate), is how those on the side of evolution seem to believe one very interesting idea:

    Humans are the pinnacle of evolution

    Even more, everything that we currently experience as part of being human is responsible for our survival. Necessary for our being here. Without everything that we currently experience, we’d all be fossils. Whoever there was on one of the lower evolutionary branches didn’t get what we have, and that’s why they died.

    So, that ear hair… must be there for a reason. Humans who didn’t have it clearly died out long ago.

    G-spot… had it been on a woman’s forehead, we definitely would have become extinct long ago.

    Can’t reach the middle of your back? Definitely prevents us from, ummm… something.

    Sure, those are goofy examples, but try on this:

    While there are traits that probably did assist with our survival as a species, maybe many of the features of being human exist for no reason at all.

    Maybe they’re there simply because they didn’t kill us.

    Ponder the thing that makes us most human: Our ability to think abstractly about the future. Our prefrontal lobes. Our neo-cortex.

    I’ve never heard one person suggest that the neo-cortex was not a great evolutionary leap forward, one that is responsible for our being here today. One that made us… well… reality show obsessed, Paris Hilton loving/hating, text-messaging something-or-others who near-sightedly attempt to control our environment with typically disastrous results.

    If our brilliant thinking leads to our eventual extinction by, say, some physicist forgetting to multiply something by pi and creating a black hole that sucks us all into its inescapable gravitational abyss, then was the neo-cortex *really* such a great thing?

    Emotions are another arena. Currently, a number of writers are attempting to jump through superstring sized hoops (those would be REALLY tiny, if they actually exist) to explain how feeling angry, sad, scared, joyful, wishing OJ would just admit that he did it, or the fact that we have emotions at all contributed to our survival.

    Come on. Seriously.

    Given our own experiences of emotions making us especially likely to say something that will prevent us from getting laid (and perpetuating the species), feeling something that would cause a woman to cut off her husband’s penis (and then for him to sew it back on and try to become a porn star), and otherwise leading to acts of sheer stupidity… doesn’t it seem at least as likely that we’ve survived DESPITE our having emotions?

    Maybe our ability to think and feel (or, perhaps more interestingly, our ability to think that we’re the ones responsible for our thoughts and feelings) evolved as a side-effect to being infested by some intestinal bacteria. Maybe our neo-cortex and much of what we think of as the “best” parts of being human didn’t insure our survival but, instead, were simply an accident that hasn’t killed us… yet.





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