Thursday, 29 May 2014
History - Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin was a controversial Englishman, naturalist and geologist who lived between 1809 and 1882. He came up with the idea of evolution. That is to say that humans have evolved over many many years from another species of animal - basically monkeys.
At the risk of over-simplifying all his works and theories here, suffice it to say that he believed that one species does change into another.
In his book On the Origin of Species he writes "As many more individuals of each species are born than can possibly survive; and as, consequently, there is a frequently recurring struggle for existence, it follows that any being, if it vary however slightly in any manner profitable to itself, under the complex and sometimes varying conditions of life, will have a better chance of surviving, and thus be naturally selected. From the strong principle of inheritance, any selected variety will tend to propagate its new and modified form."
In other words, each generation would evolve a little bit more than its predecessor in order to improve itself and adapt to its environment and thus survive. He added that "light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history".
Ever since the theory that men could be descended from apes came to light people have been arguing for and against that particular possibility.
What I'd like us to focus on, however, is the possibility that we may have evolved, over time into what we are now. We may not have started as apes, but perhaps we were always humans who looked like apes; i.e. we were covered with a lot of hair to keep us warm since clothes had not yet been invented and were not easily purchased on the Internet.
As we learnt to cover ourselves, first with fig leaves, (they don't cover much do they), and then with various animal skins, we evolved into humans with less and less body hair. So ... what I am saying is ... we did not evolve from apes but from humans who were covered with body hair when they roamed naked and then lost this covering when fashionable clothing was made available in shops and on-line.
Are you with me so far?
It doesn't matter if you don't agree. Just hold that thought for a moment.
Now then ... as time goes by we "evolve" or adapt to survive our various environments. There is evidence for instance that in the Middle Ages people were much smaller and shorter than they are now. This is seen from the size of doorways in castles, and from bones found in graves. But as time went by and diets improved, as well as health standards, today's people are much bigger and stronger compared to their Middle Ages counterpart.
Now, if we accept this fact. It follows that we continue to evolve as time goes by into the future. Who knows how future people would look like!
Do we need toe nails for instance? What are they used for? Perhaps future people will not have toe nails.
But as we get busier and busier a second mouth would come in handy. We could use one mouth for talking, or answering the phone, and another for eating our lunch. This way we don't need to have a lunch break and we would work for longer and be more productive.
Personally, I'd like a mouth on top of my head. This way I could put a sandwich under my hat and eat it whilst going to work.
It would also be a good idea to have an extra eye. Say at the end of your index finger. This way you could clean your ear and see what's inside at the same time.
You know how you sometimes say "I've only got one pair of hands!" Well ... wouldn't it be nice to have two pairs of hand? Both coming from the side like now. This way I could drive the car and scratch my bottom at the same time.
I'm beginning to like this evolution thing. I wonder what else we could think of? A turkey with 12 legs so we can have one each on Thanksgiving and Christmas? Problem is ... he'd run too fast and we won't be able to catch it. Scrap that idea!
Can you think of any evolutionary ideas which would benefit us in the future? Don't be shy now ... let your imagination run wild and share your thoughts with us.
I promise not to laugh!