Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Evolution Schmevolution.

I am very uncomfortable and really a bit embarrassed admitting that any of my clothes are new.
"Is that a new shirt?" I'm asked, from nowhere.
"....er.....no, no I just don't. Wear. It. Much." I counter.

I feel slightly angry that my day has been attacked, unprovoked.

That's a weird survival trait evolved from years of success over weaker Hobbesian losers isn't it? Pretending my clothes were new once but not in the relatively very recent past, rather, a bit less recently purchased? How can that possibly benefit the species?

I had a college professor once expound the theory that evolution had stopped for the human race. He went on to explain that everyone now broadly has a partner and procreates (my brain translating effortlessly into "even fatties are getting some"). I went away and read and realised that no, we have not stopped evolving. Evolution just doesn't work on the timescales of a few generations and the process is not a movement "toward" something. I spent a lot of time learning from the world's best that evolution happens simply "BECAUSE IT HAPPENS". That's it, done and dusted. Inna nutshell. And the fact that we have evolved to feel nervously embarrassed about new clothes is more likely part of a more complex system of social norms which allow us to exist as a very successful gregarious predator.

I took this to the college professor. Well I tried to but by then it was 13 years later, I couldn't remember his name and I realised that he didn't really understand the most basic concepts of evolution. I didn't even try to.

I did see someone who looked just like him though and I shouted his name really loudly across the street "HEY DR FINKELMADEUPSTORYSON" but it wasn't him. I was so embarrassed.

Clear, evolutionary advantage.

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