Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Some people found a dead monkey.

I hope I never fall into a tar pit or anything. I don't want my body being dug up a few million years from now by any alien explorers. They would X-ray me, and might find that my last meal was an Orange Crush-covered hot pocket. The shame.

This thing isn't any sort of defining "missing link" between apes and humans like the media is trying to make it, unless you count every single ape or monkey ever discovered as a missing link (which they are). I read a book on evolution a couple months ago, and now that I actually have a real good idea of how it works, this is really exciting to me. This is now the evolution post.

Every so often, a creature experiences a random mutation. These are usually minor and unnoticeable. When that creature reproduces, its mutation is passed onto its offspring. Then its offspring passes it onto its own offspring. If that mutation is beneficial, then it will increase the creature's chances of survival, and thus increase its chances of reproducing. Likewise, if that mutation is just a burdensome deformity, it's going to get killed without ever getting the chance to mate, and so its mutation dies with it. If this goes on for millions and millions of years, these small changes will eventually make certain species morph into other species, with every generation having better tools for surviving than its parents. This process is called natural selection. When human design is added to the picture, the process is sped the fuck up, and it only takes hundreds of years instead of millions. That's why we have a bajillion different breeds of dogs -- we created them. It's why we're able to eat most of the fruit and vegetables we can -- we've only been allowing the things we can eat to grow, and their health benefits have been slowly increasing with our selection for thousands of years. That's how we created the edible banana out of the poisonous wild one.

Normal banana

Evolution is a fact. (And by "fact," I mean a gigantic lie created by Satan.) If someone ever tells you that evolution is "only a theory," you need ask them why they don't believe in the theory of gravity. Then punch them in the neck before they can answer. Scientists do not use the word "theory" in the same way we do in every day life. The reason why we don't call evolution a law is because laws in science are concrete, and can never be altered. We are constantly finding new and interesting things to add onto evolution. Like that scary monkey-chupacabra thing.

We know evolution is a fact because we can observe the human body. At a certain point while we're in the womb, we grow an entire coat of hair that covers our entire bodies. Of course it all falls off eventually, but that is the exact same stage in ape fetuses where they grow their hair! Fuck, that's cool. Also, every embryo, of every vertebrae, on the entire planet, all develop in the exact same way. It develops from looking exactly like a fish embryo, into an amphibian embryo, to a reptile embryo, to a bird embryo, and finally to mammal -- the exact order of how all animals evolved.

Evolution's also proven by vestigial organs. A vestigial organ is an organ that is completely useless. No designer would have put them in. A short list:
  • Wings on flightless birds.
Most flightless birds that have walked the earth are actually now extinct, because their arms were fucking useless. Penguins do well because they've learned to compensate by swimming, and ostriches do well because they use their extremely powerful legs as weapons much like their dinosaur ancestors; but even then, there are still a lot of ostrich subspecies that have gone extinct. Seriously though, what kind of designer would design the god damn kiwi?

Look at that ugly fucker. That's something I would make in Spore for a laugh.
  • Whales have leg bones.
Whales came from land creatures, and they still have parts left behind. On very rare occasions, whales can be born with legs on the outside their bodies. On even rarer occasions, those legs could have feet, and even toes. The hippopotamus is probably going to evolve into a whale-like creature eventually.

  • We have tailbones.
Our tailbone is useless, except that it really really hurts when you land on it. Babies are sometimes born with tails.

  • We have an appendix.
In herbivores, the appendix is much larger and helps digest leaves. We don't eat leaves anymore, so now our appendix is smaller, serves absolutely no purpose, and occasionally gets clogged up and kills people. God designed that for us because he loves us.

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