Monday, March 12, 2012

Found on a flash drive...


Punctuated Equilibria and the Theory of Unintelligent Design

       Reading between the gaps skilled as any biblical scholar with only “stones and bones” as their text. The “hopeful monster” arrived not once, but many more times than probability possibly could allow. Thriving in a primordial ooze, it never laid a bone to rest. It disappeared, like Enoch, in a flaming chariot across the sky. “Gradualism is dead,” Evolutionary Biologist, Dr. Gould trumpeted, “Punctuated Equilibria is how new living things began!”
       It wasn’t how Darwin thought. Nor how Gradualists taught. Scales never turned to feathers. Legs never grew on fish. No archaeological evidence exists for those fanciful leaps in logic.
       Yet, out of fish eggs scrambled some frogs jumping, to and fro, over sultry mudscapes oblivious that its parents breathed water instead of air.
       Trying to hop, the hoped for monster, managed only a lilting crawl. Away from its parents horned toad and green frog. The lizard and his seven sisters scampered far from the confines of their rich soupy pond.
       Basking in summery spring warmth eggs incubated a moss eaten stump; creaking, rattling, then thumping they cracked Humpty hatched three birds, two snakes, and a salamander with a whap! Skittering away were iguana and dinoizard, the snakes slithered towards the desert, the salamander to the bog, and the birds flew out over the sea into a fog.
       Many more beasts, species of different sizes and varieties, crawled forth from this beach. Some functionally pragmatic others playfully imaginative. Punctually arriving in static equilibrium.
       Then one day, many cycles of moons later, two birds flew back. Bigger and more fair than the three who flew away. They settled on a mountainous dune far looking over the river flowing into the sea. The mother with a purple plume and crimson breast lay exhausted after birthing several mutant eggs. When they hatched mice scampered forth.
       Soon the land was teaming with mice adapting and coloring into pages of their environment. One day a giant brown mouse not quite a rat, burrowed into a bole next to the river, gave birth to two rats, three cats, and a beaver. Later the cat gave birth to the tiger and then to the dog. The land became full of living creatures, now there was much fauna for the predator.
       A pack of dogs and a wolf lone wolf made their home in the glade behind the beach beyond the river. Two dogs lay dead after birthing a cow and a bull. The cattle grew in numbers and varieties. The predators grew fanciful and huge. Gaining intelligence and cunning with each passing moon.
       The cow gave birth to the horse; the horse to the ass; and the ass to the monkey. When all the trees were swinging with chimpanzees’ apes mutated into form. Another age came and went, two balding apes standing upright returned to the beach. They made their home in a cave guarded by ferny trees. Finally, after much to-do, Homo-sapiens came into being.


---William James, March 3, 2001


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